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SAN FRANCISCO: Datuk Seri Najib Razak opened Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s representative office here on Sunday with the hope it would help to fast track Malaysia’s innovation agenda.
Khazanah Americas Inc. (KAI) at California Street - Khazanah’s third regional office after Beijing and Mumbai - will facilitate investments in the region that are of strategic interest to the government’s investment arm and Malaysia in general.
Najib described locating the representative office in San Francisco as a right choice because the city, and the Silicon Valley as a whole, is a premier hub for innovation and technology.
By having an office here, the prime minister hoped Khazanah would be able to identify potential partners in projects that can propel Malaysia into a higher level of innovation and technological capabilities.
In a statement issued earlier, Khazanah managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said KAI would play an immensely important role as a bridge between Malaysia and the premier innovation and technology hubs of the United States.
“As home to both establish established technology firms and start-up ventures, leading universities and media-related companies, San Francisco and its surrounding environs have established a vibrant ecosystem for supporting entrepreneurs.
“The establishment of KAI will help build a pipeline of talent and collaboration between Malaysia and the US.”
Khazanah’s expansion into the American continent is part of its larger strategy to become more global in scope. As of May this year, Khazanah’s overseas investments represent 9 per cent of its total investments portfolio of RM135.9 billion.
At Sunday’s event, Khazanah was also presented the Global Award for Visionary Innovation Leadership by business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan for the pioneering work that Khazanah has done towards Malaysia’s economic development.
The award acknowledges Khazanah’s leadership role in transforming government-linked companies, expanding the Malaysia brand regionally and globally, and its visionary approach to economic development through Iskandar Malaysia.
Also present at the event were Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
Najib and Rosmah later had dinner with about 300 Malaysians, mostly students, who are living in and around San Francisco.