globalEDGE Blog: Malaysia's Hi-Tech Global City

Malaysia's Hi-Tech Global City

With the goal of becoming a developed nation by 2020, Malaysia has some work ahead but recent predictions by Malaysia’s central bank show that this developing country is definitely on the right track. A predicted economic growth rate between five and six percent puts Malaysia in a much better position than other South East Asia economies in today’s global climate. Over the last decade Malaysia has faced tough competition in exports and production from low wage countries such as China. Now, Malaysia is looking forward to a knowledge-based economy lush with opportunities and potential.

Cyberjaya, a hi-tech city, was constructed in South West Malaysia as technology became the focal point for Malaysia’s developing economy. Entitled the “Silicon Valley of the East”, Cyberjaya was the first city to be fully connected with high-speed internet using fiber-optic cables. With the city infrastructure in place, officials hoped to turn Malaysia into a hi-tech producer by luring international company support with tax incentives and an English-speaking workforce. Many international companies were quick to take up the offer as various companies including Dell, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard opened offices in Cyberjaya. Malaysia’s information technology themed city is hoping to attract more of these multinational companies but also hopes to develop local Malaysian companies.

The infrastructure of Cyberjaya is not the only aspect of the city accounting for its growing success. Multilingual skills, globally accepted talent, and perhaps most importantly a multicultural mixed population are other advantages Cyberjaya is using to foster its growth. This multicultural work force allows companies from abroad to hire employees in Malaysia with diverse cultural awareness and understanding. As international companies enter new markets abroad, these employees with high cultural intelligence bring just as much value to the company as information technology systems. With its technology based infrastructure and diverse workforce, Cyberjaya serves as a great model for cities looking to become important global business centers. While many international cities may rightly so first invest in state of the art technology, investing in training a culturally intelligent workforce should be a close second.

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