KUALA LUMPUR: Fortune 500 companies IBM and Toshiba are each set to invest more heavily in Malaysia, with IBM planning to pump RM1 billion to develop a global technology services delivery centre in Cyberjaya over the next five years.
Japanese technology giant Toshiba, meanwhile, plans to invest RM268 million to build its regional operational headquarters in Malaysia.
The foreign investments are part of nine new projects worth RM2.52 billion that fall under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), which were announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.
The IBM project was deemed the biggest in terms of investment.
Najib said the country remained focused on boosting growth and competitiveness to make Malaysia more attractive to investors.
“We will push ahead with reforms, including the Competition Act, which will come into effect on Jan 1, and the liberalisation of 17 services as announced in the 2012 Budget.”
He said while he remained confident the country could fast-track a generation of growth in 10 years, the ETP was only a year old and would take time before the benefits were felt.
Chris Eng, an analyst and research head at OSK Research, said: “It’s been a long time since Cyberjaya saw such a large investment like the one from IBM. It bodes well for Malaysia and is also positive for the development of Cyberjaya.”
The centre will help the company deliver information technology services capabilities to clients around the world.
Najib said the centre would help position Malaysia as a hub for IT experts in this region.
IBM will employ up to 3,000 people for the centre.
Patt Cronin, IBM general manager for global technology delivery and delivery excellence, said: “Our 10-storey building in Cyberjaya will have its groundbreaking ceremony in the first quarter of next year and it is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2013.”
Toshiba chose Malaysia as its global supply chain hub, regional full turnkey, and research and development centre for its transmission and distribution equipment for Southeast Asia.
American firm Akamai Technologies, ranked among the 100 best performing technology companies globally, plans to work with Telekom Malaysia Bhd on a project that will see Akamai’s only Netstorage facilities in Southeast Asia hosted in Malaysia.
Netstorage is a secure, outsourced service that reduces costs and hassle associated with content storage.
Other ETP projects include KPJ Healthcare Bhd’s plan to build five hospitals in Malaysia, offering 822 beds, for RM763 million over the next three years.
Shrimp exporter Pegagau Group will set up a processing plant in Tawau and expand into large-scale cage farming. These initiatives will see a RM67.7 million investment.
ETP, launched a year ago, had recorded RM177.1 billion in committed investment and 389,263 potential jobs, Najib said.
Source : New Straits Times