1. We are honoured that Your Excellency is here today as a Special Envoy of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. This means Your Excellency speaks not only for Mubadala Development Company but also on behalf of Abu Dhabi. Indeed this is a testimony of the strong bond established between Malaysia and Abu Dhabi and through it, the Middle East.
2. It is also great significance that our friendship is flourishing at a time when we are witnessing the growing importance of West Asia in shaping the global economy. From my visits to Abu Dhabi earlier this year, I must say that I am impressed by the rapid developments taking place as the country forges ahead to diversify its economy beyond energy. I am also touched by the sincerity the Abu Dhabi leadership displayed in their keen interest to invest in Malaysia.
3. Underscoring this sincerity is the commitment Your Excellency has demonstrated in your role as an advisor to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Indeed we look towards Abu Dhabi to help us shape the long-term economic growth of Malaysia. We intend to advance growth by forging international partnerships in the firm belief that the right partners can contribute to mutual prosperity. We are delighted that 1MDB and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala) see each other as partners in driving strategic initiatives for the long-term sustainable economic development of their respective countries. Indeed, there is much that we can share and can gain from each other.
4. We will witness shortly the signing of a two collaborative agreements between 1MDB and Mubadala. The first will pave the way for Mubadala to participate in the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD) development led by 1MDB, which has an estimated cost in excess of RM26 billion which will provide very significant stimulus for the construction and other related industries. The KLIFD is critical in the development of a dynamic, globally competitive financial sector that will promote economic growth, attract foreign direct investment and create jobs. It is a key component in the Government’s initiatives to further leverage on financial services as both a growth sector as well as an enabler of growth of other sectors. Construction of this KLIFD is expected to begin by the middle of next year.
5. The KLIFD is a 34-hectare real-estate development intended to tightly cluster important banking and financial entities. The plan is to have key regulators and institutions, together with major banks and professional services firms, including Syariah specialists, co-locate in the KLIFD. We will invite, we will encourage and we will persuade the local and international financial community to work with us not only in shaping Kuala Lumpur as a global financial centre but also to benefit from what the KLIFD has to offer. We are happy see Mubadala responding to our call.
6. In the second agreement, Mubadala is looking to commit RM21.7 billion (USD7 billion) in long-term projects in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy that will generate spill-over economic activities in multiple sectors. These activities are expected to create more than 10,000 jobs during construction and another 2,000 specialist jobs. Specific details of these projects, all of which will be led by 1MDB will be made available in due course.
7. Indeed, we are delighted with the vote of confidence Abu Dhabi has in the Malaysian economy as well as in 1MDB which embodies the soft touch of Government with the spirit of enterprise. I see that the infusion of government will and the enterprising spirit of the private sector is working out well. As Chairman of the Board of Advisors of 1MDB, I am pleased that 1MDB has posted a net profit of RM425 million during its first financial year ending 31 March 2010. The audited financial results by KPMG underscore the company’s strong corporate governance as it strives to be a strategic enabler for new ideas and new sources of growth.
8. Indeed, this strengthens my confidence in 1MDB as a critical enabler in the Government’s Economic Transformation Programme for Malaysia to have a high-performance and market-driven economy as well as transforming itself to a high-income nation. There will be scepticism but 1MDB must continue to have the courage to innovate and explore new opportunities and the determination to persevere in the face of adversity.
9. I look forward to more strategic initiatives from 1MDB on its mission to drive long-term sustainable growth. The results of these partnerships will open our door wide for the entry of foreign direct investments and pave the way for greater economic development of the country which wiill benefit the people of Malaysia.
10. Thank you.
Wabillahitaufik walhidayah, Wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.