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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Big projects eye foreign tenants

The Matrade Centre and Warisan Merdeka, two large property projects worth a combined RM20 billion, will include offices that will be marketed to multinational companies (MNCs).

"The two projects will have office towers with full-fledged upmarket facilities, even better than the Petronas Twin Towers," Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said.

The RM15 billion Matrade Centre will be built by the Naza group. It will include an exhibition centre, residences, offices, a mall and a hotel, spanning 26ha, under a privatisation deal with the government. The 10-year project will be launched next month.

Warisan Merdeka, located within the enclave of Merdeka Stadium and Stadium Negara, will have a 100-storey tower. The project, which will start next year and be completed in 2015, is an initiative by Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB).

Little else is known about the project.

Raja Nong Chik said PNB has done its homework to ensure the project will be viable.

However, PNB will have to address the issue of limited road access as the project is located in a densely occupied area.

"The project is a good move by PNB, which is looking at various avenues to invest. But they must ensure that the tower is taken up as the money is coming from them.

They are answerable to their shareholders.

"PNB also has to ensure that the building is attractive so that investors don't go to Singapore, Vietnam and India. We will lose then," he said.

Raja Nong Chik was speaking to reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday after opening the 2nd International Conference on World Class Sustainable Cities 2010.

He also said that the ministry aims to launch Invest KL by early next year. It will work with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) to encourage MNCs to set up shop here.

The minister expressed confidence that the government would achieve its target of having 200 new MNCs by 2020. Currently, there are 1,800 MNCs in the country.

"While the number is small as compared with Shanghai, which has 16,000 MNCs, and (against the) 4,000 in Singapore, we hope to surpass 2,000 in 10 years."

Invest KL will target MNCs worldwide, especially from the Middle East, China and India.

By Business Times

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