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Najib opens Khazanah office in San Francisco

Published on: Tuesday, September 24, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak officiated Khazanah Nasional Berhad's regional office for the Amerikas, Khazanah Americas Incorporated (KAI), in San Francisco Sunday.

He hoped that the opening of this office would help propel Malaysia into a developed nation status by the year 2020.

The Prime Minister said Malaysia's visionary ambitions to reach a developed nation status by 2020 could be achieved by moving up the value chain and creating an economy driven by knowledge, innovation and technology.

Najib said this when officiating the office located at the 45th Floor, 101 California Street, San Francisco, the third Khazanah's regional office after Beijing and Mumbai.

Also present were his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek; Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh; Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin; Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Director, San Francisco Mayor's Office of International Trade and Commerce Mark Chandler.

The Khazanah Americas Incorporated office has a scenic view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the world's longest and tallest suspension bridge when the bridge was completed in 1937, to connect San Francisco with Marin County across the 1,600 metre-wide strait known as the Golden Gate which links the San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean.

Complimenting Khazanah for "the great choice of sparkling office with a nice view", Najib said Khazanah had made the right choice to be in San Francisco as the city is the centre of innovation in the United States - one of the most dynamic regions in the world, home to the most admired and innovative businesses and institutions.

Najib, who is also Khazanah Nasional Berhad chairman, said the opening of the office has shown that the Malaysian government fully supported and underpinned its seriousness on creating a competitive, sustainable and innovation-friendly environment and encouraged private and government entities to invest in key sectors abroad.

The Prime Minister also said Malaysia was keen to invest in exciting high-value areas such as life sciences, green technology and cutting-edge innovation that could help Malaysia's transformation efforts.

Najib said Malaysia hoped to learn from the United States its remarkable culture of innovation, risk-taking and entrepreneurship to spur Malaysia's own economic growth.

He said he was looking forward to see the innovation that would emanate from this regional office initiative.

He said that over the years, Malaysia's business and economic interests had expanded across the globe and hoped that the Khazanah office would be able to identify potential partners and get the people in innovation in Americas to partner with those in Malaysia.

Najib also said that Iskandar Malaysia in Johor had established itself as a high value innovative centre and its Pinewood Studios, an integrated media production studio facility, are expected to be completed and opened next year.

He said Malaysia had a lot to offer to investors such as big economic growth number of 4-5 per cent a year, its Vision 2020 efforts on track and a low inflation rate of 2 per cent, which was not bad considering the current external factors affecting the world economy.

"With Khazanah Americas, we can further strengthen our presence and build strong networks with businesses here and I hope we can identify potential partners in America to help propel Malaysia into a developed nation status by 2020," he said.

In his welcoming speech, Khazanah Nasional Berhad Managing Director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the opening of the Khazanah Americas Incorporated office would be a hub for Khazanah into innovation and technology as well as a bridge between the two countries and regions.

Najib, who arrived in San Francisco with his wife early Sunday, is on a working visit here until Sept 24, prior to his visit to New York to lead Malaysia's delegation to the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) from Sept 25 to 29.

He is scheduled to deliver a statement at the High Level Meeting UNGA on Nuclear Disarmament on Sept 26, and Malaysia's statement during the General Debate on Sept 28. - Bernama