Govt rolls out initiatives to make KL top start-up hub [UPDATED]

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has launched various initiatives in an effort to propel Kuala Lumpur into the ranks of the top 20 global start-up hubs by 2030.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, during the launch of the KL20 Summit 2024 today, said it was an ideal launch pad for innovative ideas, affirming the government's commitment to boost Malaysian start-up companies.

He said venture capital firms would be setting up offices and new funds in Kuala Lumpur.

"The 12 firms are sophisticated international firms with asset under management sizes above billions and illustrious investment track records, so that good Malaysian start-ups will be discovered and nurtured to be globally successful.

"High-tech companies will set up their operations, research and development (R&D) facilities, and regional headquarters to serve the Asian and Southeast Asian market.

"Cities in Asia will collaborate as innovation twin cities in areas such as accelerated business set up, regulatory harmonisation as well as increased connectivity and mobility," he said.

As for the semiconductors sector, Anwar said Malaysia's substantial hold on the back-end has made it conducive to pursue high-value front-end work, chiefly in the integrated circuit (IC) design category.

Meanwhile, Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said the KL20 Action Plan outlines new initiatives that will accelerate the critical areas of a startup ecosystem; capital, talent and quality of startups.

He said KL20 encompasses plans and action plans complemented with actions starting today, including the "VC Golden Pass", "Innovation Pass", "Unicorn Golden Pass", "KL20 GPU Scheme", "Innovation Belt", and "Startup Single Window".

Unicorn Golden Pass, he said, involved incentives, including exempted fees for employment passes for senior management, subsidised rental, concessionary tax rates on corporate profits, relocation services, and a startup concierge that handles the backroom registration at the start.

"This is to attract global unicorns to enter Malaysia, so that high-skilled and high-value jobs are created, besides developing a pipeline of future entrepreneurs and senior leaders in tech (technology sectors)," he said.

Meanwhile, the Startup Single Window acts as a one-stop centre on information and application for the startup ecosystem, he said.

"The minor inconveniences and hiccups in the journey is often what derails the experience, and we are addressing them today.

"We will also make it easy and seamless to operate in Malaysia," he said, adding that several schemes would also be introduced.

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