Malaysia Wants to Build the Biggest Circuit Design Park in South Asia

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Malaysia has ambitious plans to establish Southeast Asia’s largest integrated circuit design park, with a range of incentives aimed at attracting global tech companies and investors, the government announced on Monday. These incentives include tax breaks, subsidies, and visa exemption fees.

The goal is to transform Kuala Lumpur into a regional digital hub, with Malaysia aspiring to rank among the top 20 countries in the global startup ecosystem index by 2030.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim emphasized that the proposed integrated circuit design park represents Malaysia’s shift towards high-value front-end design work, moving beyond traditional backend chip assembly and testing.

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As a significant player in the semiconductor industry, Malaysia accounts for approximately 13% of global testing and packaging.

The park, supported by Malaysia’s central Selangor state, aims to attract world-class anchor tenants and foster collaboration with global companies like British chipmaker Arm Holdings, although specific details were not provided.

In addition to the integrated circuit design park, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah Nasional, will establish a fund with an initial allocation of 1 billion ringgit ($209 million) to invest in innovative high-growth Malaysian companies.

This initiative was announced by Prime Minister Anwar at the KL20 Summit event, which focuses on launching new policies to support Malaysian startups.

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Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli outlined additional incentives to attract foreign venture capital firms, tech entrepreneurs, and unicorns (startups valued at $1 billion or more) to invest in Malaysia.

These incentives include subsidized office spaces, exemptions on employment passes, relocation services, and lower corporate tax rates.

“We want to attract global unicorns to enter Malaysia, so that high-skilled and high-value jobs are created, besides developing a pipeline of future entrepreneurs and senior leaders in tech,” Rafizi emphasized.

Nate O'Hara
Nathan is a seasoned commerce writer with a passion for unraveling the intricacies of the business world and distilling them into engaging narratives. During his academic journey, he delved deep into subjects like economics, marketing, and entrepreneurship, honing his analytical skills and developing a keen understanding of market dynamics.