PETALING JAYA: Despite Covid-19, InvestKL is maintaining its 2020 target to attract 12 high-value, high-tech and high-impact multinationals (MNCs) to invest in Kuala Lumpur after it attracted 13 MNCs in 2019 with approved and committed investments of RM2.2 billion.

InvestKL CEO Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli said the agency is targeting investments in sectors such as technology, consumer and industrial products, medical devices, medical technology, smart technology and renewable energy.

“Malaysia’s fundamentals remain strong and attractive to investors. Despite Covid-19, we remain in active discussions with potential investors from the US and Europe. Although some investors are taking a wait-and-see approach, others remain committed to their investments as they hold a long-term view.

“In addition, China is open for business, and this is good news for us. We are in talks with Chinese companies and global MNCs from the technology, logistics and manufacturing sectors who are interested to expand their capacity or set up regional headquarters here,” he said in a statement today.

Of the 13 MNCs it attracted in 2019, 70% are from the US, UK and Europe. The 13 MNCs created 1,308 regional jobs.

These Fortune 500 and Forbes 2000 companies are Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (US); Splunk (US); General Electric (U.S); Astra Zeneca (UK); ABB (Swiss-Swedish); Schindler (Swiss); CMA CGM (France); TUI (Germany); and SCM (Italy). The remaining 30% comprised Asian corporations such as Daifuku (Japan); Vanke (China); CRRC Corporation (China); and SRKay Consulting (India).

Since 2011, InvestKL has attracted 91 global MNCs with approved and committed investments of RM13.95 billion, as well as the creation of 12,584 regional high-skilled jobs.

This comprised 91% of InvestKL’s 2020 mandate and the corporation is cautiously optimistic of achieving its target of 100 MNCs by year-end.

In the eight years from 2011-2019, RM8.1 billion or 58% of the RM13.95 billion investments have been realised. In addition, 8,858 or 70% of the 12,584 high skilled regional jobs are already on the payroll with an average annual income of RM141,622.

“In addition to offering regional jobs and upskilling Malaysians, the 91 MNCs have significantly value-added to local businesses. The real estate, hospitality, education, medical, tourism, and entertainment sectors have all benefitted.

“The real estate sector enjoyed an estimated RM156.8 million of annual rental income for office space in 2019, or equivalent to these MNCs occupying some 50 floors on each of the Petronas Twin Towers,” he aded.

Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said this achievement is a testament of foreign investors’ confidence in the country’s business and governance environment.

Azmin, however, cautioned that with the Covid-19 pandemic and the generally negative impact on foreign direct investments globally, InvestKL will need to recalibrate and add greater value propositions to its investment strategies.