VIBRANT CENTRE: Tun Razak Exchange will attract top global firms, says Najib
KUALA LUMPUR: KUALA Lumpur is set to be a leading global centre for international finance, trade and services with the launch of the RM26 billion Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.
Najib said more than RM3.5 billion worth of foreign direct investment would flow into the country under phase 1 of the development of TRX, a critical enabler and important catalyst for the government’s Vision 2020 and Economic Transformation Programme initiatives. “We also expect more than 250 of the world’s leading companies to locate here, creating 500,000 jobs directly and indirectly by the time it is fully completed.
“Of these, some 40,000 will be knowledge workers specialising in financial services, reflecting our ambition for the Tun Razak Exchange to be home to a strong, vibrant and diverse international business community.” He said this at the launch of the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District, now known as TRX, here. It is named after Najib’s father, Tun Abdul Razak, who was the second prime minister.
A 28ha haven for new investment opportunities, TRX would include world-leading international design and progressive planning tenets, said Najib.
Its buildings and infrastructure would conform to the highest levels of sustainability, pedestrians could walk and play in green public areas, and it would have seamless links to public transportation, including the mass rapid transit project, which was under construction, he added.
Additionally, he said, to ensure that the exchange received the support of the government every step of the way, from planning and development right until it was up and running, the government had formed a special task force led by the Economic Planning Unit, he said.
“I have appointed (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department) Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop as chair and its members include senior officers from the Finance Ministry, Bank Negara and the Securities Commission.”
The government, he said, would go out of its way to ensure that the exchange was a success and, as a first step, it would begin a comprehensive review of business regulations.
"Our logic behind this review is simple: anything that contributes to future progress stays, anything that is outdated goes."
He said the government would remain steadfast in its commitment to creating a larger, vibrant and successful financial district here.
With the support of Bank Negara, he said TRX would play a bigger part in turning the city into an international financial centre and among the top 20 of the world's liveable cities.
"In particular, we hope to see a further development of Islamic finance, a sector of unlimited potential. Worth just US$5 billion (RM15 billion) in 1985, the Islamic finance sector is worth more than US$1 trillion today. Malaysia's Islamic finance sector is already worth more than US$400 billion and that is set to triple in value over the coming decade."
He announced further incentives for the development of TRX.
"I can announce that further incentives are in the pipeline, building on those I announced last year."
These, he said, included an income tax exemption of 100 per cent for 10 years, stamp duty exemption on loan and service agreements, industrial building allowances and accelerated capital allowances, and an income tax exemption of 70 per cent for five years for eligible property developers in TRX.
Citing the many reasons to invest in TRX, Najib said the government, through 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), had locked in its partner for the entire phase 1 of TRX.
"It is significant to note that this international partner is the first mover in establishing a strong ecosystem to support the infrastructure for the exchange."