Malaysia plans Southeast Asia's largest integrated circuit design park

By Reuters   April 22, 2024 | 03:24 pm PT
Malaysia plans Southeast Asia's largest integrated circuit design park
A general view of a business district in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia September 15, 2020. Photo by Reuters
Malaysia plans to build Southeast Asia's largest integrated circuit design park and will offer incentives including tax breaks, subsidies and visa exemption fees to attract global tech companies and investors, the government said on Monday.

Malaysia is aiming to turn Kuala Lumpur into a regional digital hub, with the goal of being among the top 20 countries in the global startup ecosystem index by 2030.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said the proposed integrated circuit design park was part of Malaysia's efforts to move beyond backend chip assembly and testing and into high-value front-end design work.

The country is a major player in the semiconductor industry, accounting for about 13% of global testing and packaging.

The park, to be backed by Malaysia's central Selangor state, will house world-class anchor tenants and collaborate with global companies such as British chipmaker Arm Holdings, Anwar said, without providing further details.

Malaysia's sovereign wealth Khazanah Nasional will also launch a fund to invest in innovative high-growth Malaysian companies, with an initial allocation of 1 billion ringgit ($209 million), Anwar told the KL20 Summit event, aimed at launching new policies to support Malaysian start-ups.

Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said the government will offer incentives including subsidised office spaces, exemptions on employment passes, relocation services and lower corporate tax rates for foreign venture capital firms, tech entrepreneurs and unicorns - startups reaching a $1 billion valuation - looking to invest in Malaysia.

"We want 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," Rafizi said.

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