As the country's capital, the Greater Kuala Lumpur region serves as the commercial pulse of Malaysia's economic activity and houses some of the world's largest multinational companies.
Greater KL is poised to transform into one of the world’s top cities. In addition to creating a haven for bustling economic activity, Malaysia’s transformation will cement the region’s liveability, reinforced by efforts including the revitalisation of its rivers, environmental conservation and improvement of the pedestrian network.
As it develops into a true cosmopolitan hub, Greater KL can only continue to offer exciting prospects for businesses seeking a foothold in the flourishing Asian region. With the region attaining further progress in tandem with Malaysia’s transformation, the time is ripe for investors to ride on growth opportunities.
Greater Kuala Lumpur, The Regional Headquarters Location For Multinational Companies
Many of the world's biggest companies are located in Kuala Lumpur, including: BMW, Shell, Glaxo SmithKline, Royal Smith Morris, Prudential, British American Tobacco, Citibank, HSBC, Tesco, Schlumberger, Nestle, PayPal, Ikea, Exonn Mobil, Nokia, and many more.
10 reasons why you should invest in Greater KL:
01. STRATEGIC LOCATION
Central Location with Global Connectivity: Located at the heart of ASEAN, Greater Kuala Lumpur’s strategic location delivers immense connectivity with emerging markets in Asia, making it the perfect regional location to grow business strategically within the region.
6 - 8 Hour Flight Radius to Asia’s Key Business Centres: Major business centres in Asia such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul are reachable from Greater Kuala Lumpur within a couple of hours.
Benefit from Malaysia's Strong Ties and Trade Links: Malaysia counts South Korea, China, ASEAN, the EU and the UAE as some of its largest trading partners. Malaysia participates in global and regional trade agreements including Free Trade Agreements, Double Taxation Agreements and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
02. BUSINESS FRIENDLY
Malaysia’s business friendly policies and attractive fiscal packages initiated by the government have made Malaysia as one of the easiest place to commence business globally. In the 'Ease of Doing Business' In World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2019, Malaysia ranked 2nd in ASEAN and ranked 15th out of 190 countries.
03. POLITICAL STABILITY
Malaysia has celebrated over 60 years of independence and continues to enjoy a politically stable environment led by a democratic government. Through political stability, Malaysia's government policies such as liberal equity policy, employment of expatriate and tax incentives provide an investor-friendly business environment.
Broad-based Measures: Organisations coming to Greater KL can take advantage of incentives provided by the Malaysian government to encourage private sector and foreign investors' participation in the economy. These range from grants, funds, tax incentives to expatriate employment incentives. Existing tax incentives such as Principal Hub allows multinationals (MNCs) to enjoy fiscal and non-fiscal benefits. There are also available tax incentives including but not limited to: Agriculture, Biotechnology, Financial Services, Halal Business, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Services.
The transportation infrastructure includes: extensive rail network such as Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (targeted completion by 2031), Mass Rapid Transit/Light Transit, MRL East Coast Rail Link (targeted completion by 2028), world class airport (KLIA) and world's 12th busiest sea port (Port Klang) provide great connectivity with the rest of the region and the world. The telecommunications infrastructure means that Greater KL and Malaysia are both completely equipped with highly advanced telecommunications infrastructure including mobile, Wi-Fi, and high-speed broadband services where Malaysia has recorded an average connection speed of 8.9 megabits per second (Akamai Report 2017).
07. AVAILABILITY OF TALENT
Malaysia produces an average of 200,000 fresh graduates annually and 33% of these young talent would move to Greater Kuala Lumpur upon graduation for better career opportunities. In EF English Proficiency Index 2018, Malaysia ranked 3rd in most English proficient country in ASEAN. Moreover, as Malaysians hail from multicultural backgrounds and ethnicity, the talent are fluent not only in English and Malay (the national language), but other languages such as Mandarin, Tamil, and various dialects. In the Global Competitiveness Report 2019 by World Economic Forum, Malaysia ranked 6th out of 141 countries in terms of its pay-to-productivity ratio.
08. COMPETITIVE BUSINESS COSTS
Lower Rental: According to Knight Frank Research 2017, the average monthly rental for office space in the Kuala Lumpur city centre was only US$13.6 per square metre (US$/sqm) in the last quarter of 2017, compared with US$64.1/sqm in Singapore, US$35.9/sqm in Melbourne, US$209.8/sqm in Hong Kong, and US$44.6/sqm in Shanghai.
Competitive Salaries: Average annual salaries of employees in the country remain competitive than that of its neighbours: Petroleum engineers at the manager level earning an average of around RM300,000 (US$71,412) a year compared to SG$250,000 (US$184,993) in Singapore and CNY400,000 (US$60,710) in China, while finance directors earn an average annual salary of RM420,000 (US$99,977), against up to HK$3 million (US$384,371) in Hong Kong and up to CNY2.5 million (US$379,437) in China.
Comparative Tax Rate: In 2017, total corporate tax in Malaysia amounted to 24% compared to 30% in Australia, 30% in India, 23.4% in Japan, 30% in the Philippines, and 15% to 39% in the USA.
09. ROBUST LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Established Judicial System: Malaysia benefits from an established judicial system that provides robust legal protection for companies. Greater Kuala Lumpur is also home to the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration which provides settlement for trade, commerce, and investment disputes within the region. Investor Protection: In World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2019, Malaysia ranked 2nd in protecting minority investors.
Greater KL’s lush and tropical setting makes it an inspiring place to live, work, and play. The scenic surrounds are complemented by an abundance of choice for housing and world-class facilities such as expatriates residential areas, healthcare/medical centres, international schools and shopping destination. Integrated public transport network such as Light Rail Transit (58km, Kelana Jaya-Sri Petaling- Putra Heights), Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Line 1 and Line 2 (Sg Buloh-Kajang/-Putrajaya,103 km), KTM Intercity (1,677 km, electrified and double-track rail) and ERL Line (57km, KL to KLIA at 160 km/h). Kuala Lumpur is one of the world’s least expensive cities to live in. In the Mercer’s 2019 Cost of Living Survey, Kuala Lumpur ranked 141th out of 209 cities. (Ranked from most expensive city to least expensive).
In a rapidly changing global economic landscape, innovative ideas and business models will be essential to underpin future growth and competitiveness. Greater Kuala Lumpur’s potential for the investment and cultivation of innovation-related activities can be divided into the three key focus areas:
Create: Greater Kuala Lumpur is an exciting and dynamic hub for discovering new and better ways of doing business with its diverse and skilled population, coupled with dozens of universities, innovation agencies and knowledge centres. Public and private funding are available at all levels for projects in areas including the creative arts, sciences (e.g. nanotechnology and biotechnology) as well as the automotive and aerospace engineering sectors, among others.
Manage: Innovations and ideas are protected in Malaysia, one of the top destinations for trademark applications in 2011. Register Malaysia’s Intellectual Property Corporation (MyIPO), a one-stop government agency, handles the registration of ideas from trademarks to patents, strengthens existing laws, promotes public awareness of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and provides advisory services. Registration costs are among the most competitive in the region.
Monetise: The real value of innovation is truly captured and realised in Greater Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia’s largest bank, Maybank, and Bank Rakyat accept IPR as collateral for financing business expansion, making idea generation a viable and profitable venture. Funding innovation has never been easier. With competitive funding from agencies like Malaysia Debt Ventures’ IP fund and Credit Guarantee Corporation which offers participation guarantees, entrepreneurs have the invaluable support they need to make their vision a reality. To support the increasing numbers of IP collaterals, MyIPO is building up the numbers of IP valuers in Malaysia. MyIPO has kickstarted this by setting up an academy to train IP valuers. In addition to an investor-friendly business environment, Greater Kuala Lumpur offers seamless, end-to-end support for innovation investors: from research and development to the commercialisation of innovative products and services.
Some feedback from investors in Greater Kuala Lumpur:
"The aim of the ROC is to bring together the control and operations of our industrial gas plants, not only in Malaysia, but across the Southeast Asia region."
- Wong Siew Yap Cluster- Head of Malaysia and Pakistan, The Linde Group
"In assessing options to site some of our regional functions a few years ago, we looked at a number of factors. Chief among these were access to a well-educated and committed labour force, ease of doing business and connectivity to the rest of our Asia Pacific operations. Greater KL scored well in our assessment and we have been very pleased with our choice; the set-up has been well supported by government agencies, our ability to recruit and retain the people we are looking for has been strong and logistics and transportation were good and are improving each year."
- Philip Smith - Chief Executive Officer, Zurich Insurance Malaysia
"Honeywell chose Kuala Lumpur as our ASEAN regional hub because of its location in the centre of Southeast Asia, having a English-speaking population and a multi-cultural environment. The Malaysian government is also easy to work with and very focused on becoming a high-income nation. The Government, together with entities like InvestKL and MIDA, is very supportive of attracting large multinationals wanting to set up regional operations in Kuala Lumpur via the Principle Hub initiative. Our relationship with the Malaysian government is very positive and we are confident of our future here.”
- Briand Greer. President Southeast Asia, Honeywell
InvestKL is a government Investment Promotion Agency mandated to attract Fortune 500 and Forbes 2000 type multinational companies to establish their regional hubs and undertake regional activities in Greater Kuala Lumpur.