August 1, 2012
The new Tun Razak Exchange (formerly the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District) is forecast to draw over 250 international firms to its 70-acre site.
The Malaysian government has high hopes for its upcoming new financial district. The ASEAN state aims to attract more than 250 world-leading companies to the project's 70 acres.
The Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), formerly known as the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District, was launched last week by Prime Minister Najib Razak. Developed at a cost of RM 26 billion, the project was renamed after Malaysia's second premier and father to Najib, Abdul Razak.
Najib said that over RM 3.5 billion worth of investment had been secured for Phase One of TRX. He added that the identity of the international "strategic partner" would be revealed in September.
"We want to have a new business and financial hub that brings the East and West together, one that can grow both Islamic and conventional finance," said Najib, who is chairman of the board of advisers of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), the master developer of TRX. Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Corporation is also named as a collaborative partner of TRX.
To be developed over the next 15 to 20 years as a fully integrated smart city, TRX will emerge as one of Malaysia's iconic developments, rivalling the nearby Wawasan Merdeka and a planned 100-storey tower.
In support of the new financial hub, the Malaysian government will assemble a special taskforce for a comprehensive review of business regulations. This will be led by the Economic Planning Unit, and will comprise representatives from the Finance Ministry, Bank Negara and the Securities Commission.
"Our logic behind this review is simple: anything that contributes to future progress stays, anything that is outdated goes," shared Najib.
He also announced that further incentives for investors would be added to those already revealed, including 10 years of full income tax redemption, the allowance for industrial building and accelerated capital inflow. Eligible property developers would also benefit from a further 70% tax exemption for five years.
TRX is particularly keen on Islamic finance, which Najib described as "a sector of unlimited potential,". He has pledged to do his utmost to ensure investors can readily participate in this important sector.
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