Mandated by the government to spearhead the development of Cyberjaya, Cyberview Sdn Bhd is today tasked to realize Cyberjaya’s aspirations as a global technology hub to support and drive the nation’s economic prosperity. Managing Director of Cyberview, Mr. Faris Yahaya, talks to PM Communications.
Many economic experts talk about the “global division of labor,” where for instance Africa will specialize in the production of agricultural products and India and China will be (and actually are already) the largest supplier of mid-value manufacturing. What can Malaysia offer to the global market?
ASEAN will play a very important role in the future division of labour. This 600 million market is very significant and diverse to produce different goods and services. Each ASEAN country has its own unique advantage and it is good to leverage on the strength and join forces for future economic prosperity. ASEAN countries can look at collaborative marketing to woo investors from other continents to come and invest in ASEAN. I see Malaysia as a good regional economic location for investment especially in the services sectors including Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI), High Value Shared Services and Outsourcing, Oil and Gas and many more.
As a company, we value the diversity in ASEAN and I believe this is a competitive advantage for this region. The implementation of the AEC will be very important for the development of the region as a whole and Malaysia is the gateway to tap into ASEAN’s potential. Due to the similarities in language, diversity, culture, human capacity and infrastructure, Malaysia will be the main entrance for investors that look into expanding in this market.
What is the genesis of Cyberview, and what has been its contribution in shaping a conducive environment for technology and innovation to flourish?
Cyberview Sdn Bhd is a Malaysian government-owned company that spearheads the development of Cyberjaya, the city poised to be a Global Technology Hub, to support and drive economic prosperity in attracting entrepreneurs, innovative talents and Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), by creating a supportive eco-system for businesses and investments to grow.
In our mission to transform Cyberjaya into a Global Technology Hub, we have elevated our status to become an active mover in ensuring things progress and work closely with other partners and stakeholders both in terms of provisioning of hard and soft infrastructure requirements. Some of the infrastructure provided includes technology programs for startups and small medium enterprises, enterprise office for SMEs, Knowledge Development Centres to nurture talent, the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) to nurture entrepreneurship, universities to ensure a supply of talent, facilities for creative companies including rendering, Data Centre spaces for large data corporations, and many more.
Cyberview has also built a strong eco-system to support innovation and entrepreneurship in Cyberjaya. The city now is complete with the essential features for technology companies to flourish in terms of creativity and innovation and for individuals with ideas - to turn their dreams into reality. The opportunity has arisen to harness Cyberjaya’s resources further and exploit its full potential and it has now emerged as a city for innovation and creativity, providing growth and jobs; and a community of entrepreneurs are slowly changing the face of the city’s landscape, creating a focus on technology that is inspiring to the new generation. Cyberjaya now attracts more inwards investment and global players in the Technology sector as it leverages on its technology capabilities as the Global Technology Hub. These global players will become catalysts to attract other players.
Can you please tell us more about Cyberview’s role in the promotion of Cyberjaya’s smart city?
Cyberview as a company has evolved from just owning land in Cyberjaya to becoming a driver for the development of the city towards being a Global Technology Hub to support and drive economic prosperity. We will continue to invest in enhancing Cyberjaya’s technology infrastructure as well as other public amenities in order to support a thriving and growing community of entrepreneurs. We will also remain focused on development projects that contribute towards the creation of a holistic township and currently in the midst of developing multiple pockets of land totalling 300 acres. Other areas of enhancement for the city will be expansion of the CCTV project, broadband expansion and other technology driven features. Cyberjaya is also very well connected to Kuala Lumpur (KL) through our train system. In less than twenty minutes we can travel from here to Downtown KL.
Cyberjaya has around 500 technology based companies and will be featured as a living lab for emerging companies and technologies to test and validate their products, solutions and business processes. In fact, when President Obama visited Malaysia, one of the main products promoted during his visit was creativity and innovation by one of Cyberjaya’s SME company.
According to the Q1 report on investment performance and in line with NEM and Wawasan 2020, 82% of jobs created are for high-skilled labor. How would you describe the role of Cyberview in the revolution from labour to capital-intensive economic paradigm?
We are on the right path to position Malaysia as a knowledge-based economy. Previously the country focused on labour intensive industry, and now we are changing that paradigm. This type of employment skill is not aimed at employing the masses but increasing the level of salaries and technical capacity of the workers. In terms of job creation, Cyberjaya also plays a very important role. In fact, 38% of Technology based jobs created in 2012 and the largest concentration of brain with 35,000 knowledge workers comes from the companies here.
Moving forward, high value SSO and high scale high value businesses will be infused to help the nation achieves its aim to develop Malaysia as high income nation. We have the right infrastructure and the government support. We haven’t been on the map for many years and now is the time to tell the world that Cyberjaya is here to stay and committed to the development of the nation.
What is your assessment and expectations about MaGIC?
We are very excited about the set-up of MaGIC as it will be the catalyst to help deliver and boost Cyberjaya’s positioning as a Global technology Hub.
The fact that President Obama chose Cyberjaya as one of his official visits really helped us put the project on the map of international investors. We want to continue promoting entrepreneurs and the creation of SMEs here in Cyberjaya. The creation of MaGIC comes at a point in which we already have the infrastructure and funding to take advantage of this innovative programme. We believe that Cyberjaya has the right ecosystem for the promotion of entrepreneurs and we have contracted an international company to advise us on what type of technologies we should focus our efforts. In order to become a global hub we need to attract global players. We need to carve a niche in which to develop our technology.
BT recently opened its global shared service facility in Malaysia. Clive Selley said: “We chose Multimedia Super Corridor Malaysia because of its globally competitive and multilingual workforce in addition to a world-class business environment and technology infrastructure.” What are the main activities that Cyberview undertakes in order to attract more FDI and British investors to place their regional HQ?
Our activities are directed to the promotion of Cyberjaya as an ideal location for tech businesses and entrepreneurs to prosper. We will continue participating in international trade missions and constantly placing Cyberjaya on the global map to attract global and emerging players. We are actively engaged in identifying new growth segments as well as high value investments in the wider technology industry. Strategic partnership will also be initiated to collaborate with other technology parks globally. This will also be a potential platform for our SMEs to collaborate with other Global Technology Hub SMEs.
I have lived and studied in the UK. I believe that we share many values with them; however, investment could be much higher than it is today. It is very important to bridge the gap of communication between Malaysia and the UK. Because of the current situation and its future potential, Malaysia should be on the map of every international investor. We want to show the world the investment opportunities Cyberjaya has to offer. Due to its location and diversity, Cyberjaya is a really good business decision.
You are now one of the ambassadors of Malaysia’s successful economic revolution. How do you feel about this new role in promoting the image of Malaysia abroad? What is your vision for the Nation?
Malaysia has gone through both negative and positive impact over the years; however this has not deterred in attracting foreign direct investments (FDI). In fact, Malaysia has been a successful economic venue due to the various government initiatives in promoting the country to global investors.
Being one of the ambassadors, we support the government to promote Malaysia as an ideal investment location. We have grown in leaps and bounds through the many initiatives driven by the government and has put Malaysia prominently on the world map. We cannot afford to lag behind other countries now. Vision 2020 is a good initiative that will help us achieve our development objectives. Changing the image of Malaysia takes the effort of all stakeholders. I believe we have a challenging and exciting journey ahead and that Cyberview will also play a key role in achieving our vision.