The Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur is a popular destination for tourists, and is rising in prominence as a finance and business hub for the south-east Asia region. Barbara Njau charts the city's progress.
Originally published with the October/November 2014 issue of fDi Magazine
Sponsored by Invest KL
Reporting and editing carried out independently by fDi
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Malaysia's minister of international trade and industry, Mustapa bin Mohamed, tells Barbara Njau that Kuala Lumpur's role has been and remains integral to Malaysia's rise as a global trade hub.
Singapore may be the leading international financial centre in south-east Asia, but Kuala Lumpur is looking to narrow the gap through becoming a regional hub for Islamic finance as well as catering for more conventional financial institutions through its Tun Razak Exchange.
Kuala Lumpur is the eighth most visited city globally, with tourists flocking to attractions such as the Petronas Twin Towers. However, concerns over the city's inadequate transport networks are frequently voiced, something local officials are rectifying with a series of new projects.
Idris Jala, CEO of the Malaysian government's business development unit Pemandu, tells Barbara Njau why Kuala Lumpur's private sector is driving many of the city's improvements.
While much of the oil and gas activity in Malaysia takes place away from Kuala Lumpur, the city has established itself as a global leader in energy terms, with foreign energy firms increasingly coming to the capital to establish a south-eastern Asian base.
Over the past two decades, Malaysia has established itself as one of the world's leading low-cost electrical component manufacturers. However, thanks to academic institutions such as Kuala Lumpur's Mimos ICT centre of innovation, the country is looking to rise up the value chain in this sector.
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