Speech at the opening of the Khazanah Europe Investment Limited Office
1. Let me begin by extending my congratulations to Khazanah Nasional for making good its commitment. Managing Director, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar made a commitment to open a Khazanah Europe Investment Limited – or KEIL office in Europe. We had to decide where in Europe or why it should be in London, precisely.
2. Europe offers attractive and resilient valuations of its companies. As of 2015, 17 percent of the world’s billion dollar tech firms were founded here, in Europe.
3. Europe dominates the top ten list by key innovation indicators, and in 2015, it contained more than 40 tech start-ups with a collective value of more than $120 billion. Of that, companies with a combined value of $40.4 billion, or 34 percent, call the United Kingdom home.
4. Which brings me to the question of why London, as opposed to another European capital. The UK is also ranked highly on both the Global Innovation Index – at second – and the Global Competitiveness Index, at ninth. And these success or achievements combined with our deep shared history, how could the United Kingdom – and London – not be selected as the base of our European operations?
5. The relationship between our countries is enduring and strong, but under Prime Minister David Cameron’s leadership, things are getting even better. He’s done what no British Prime Minister has done – which is to visit Malaysia twice in his tenure of office. That is a testimony of his confidence and his commitment that the relationship between our two countries should be a strong one, not to be predicated on our shared history but looking forward and energising this relationship. This is a relationship that can be developed even stronger for our mutual benefit and we believe many things can happen here, in London. The Battersea Power Station is symbolic of that growing relationship and it happens to be the largest urban regeneration in Europe and that is being done by Malaysia, here in London.
6. And yesterday I was at Legacy I, that’s next to Battersea. Another significant development by a Malaysian company together with a British company. That is testimony to our commitment.
7. But we would also like British companies to invest in Malaysia as well. And with the commitment shown by Prime Minister David Cameron and British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell, I am sure that exciting things will happen.
8. There are many things we like about the UK, of course, you know I studied at Malvern College and then Nottingham University. More British educational institutions are opening or have started operations in Malaysia.
9. These include: Marlborough and the Universities of Nottingham, Newcastle, Reading, Heriot Watt and Southampton.
10. The opening of Khazanah Europe Investment Limited – KEIL – further deepens that relationship and increases Malaysia’s presence in this city. It will also provide Khazanah, and its investee companies, with exposure to developed markets and will enable them to better evaluate opportunities in technology-enabled sectors in Europe.
11. Headed by Executive Director Javier Santiso, KEIL will provide support on investments in Europe which are of strategic interest to Khazanah. I would like to announce some exciting developments. First of all, I am pleased to announce that Yayasan Khazanah, a Khazanah Nasional foundation, will make an endowment of GBP5million over five years to sponsor up to three Malaysian scholars at any one time, in perpetuity, to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford, under the Rhodes Scholarship for Malaysia in partnership with Yayasan Khazanah programme.
12. I would also like to announce that Khazanah will establish the Khazanah Residency Programme, focussed in five areas, namely Arts, Culture and Society; Design; Public Service; Media and Journalism; and Science and Technology.
13. Under this programme, Khazanah will sponsor up to 10 qualified Malaysians every year for short-term residencies and fellowships in locations around the world. I am delighted that Khazanah is showing this leadership in sending talented Malaysians abroad to broaden and enrich their knowledge and experience.
14. And I am sure that this new Khazanah office will act as a bridge for networks, innovation, productivity, and skills between our nations. And I am sure this is a precursor of more exciting things to happen between our two countries.
15. With that, it is my pleasure to officially declare the Khazanah Europe Investments Limited office open. I wish all here every success.