KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 2012 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Monday announced a special task force to oversee the development of the Tun Razak Exchange, formerly known as the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District, until the sprawling project in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City is up and running.
He said the task force would be led by the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister's Department and chaired by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, with its members comprising senior officers from the Finance Ministry, Bank Negara, Securities Commission and related agencies.
The task force would ensure that the exchange received the support of the entire government machinery in every step of the way -- from planning and development and until the exchange was fully up and running, said Najib, who is Finance Minister.
"The Government will go out of its way to ensure that the exchange is a success and as a first step, I can announce to you today that we will begin a comprehensive review of business regulations," he said in his keynote address before launching the exchange.
The logic behind this review is simple, he said, adding that: "Anything that contributes to future progress stays, anything that is outdated goes".
The prime minister also announced that further incentives are in the pipeline, building on the incentives that he had announced last year.
They include 100 per cent income tax exemption for 10 years; stamp duty exemption on loan and service agreements; Industrial Building Allowance and Accelerated Capital Allowance; and 70 per cent income tax exemption for five years for eligible property developers at the Tun Razak Exchange.
Najib also announced that the exchange has a locked-in partner for the entire Phase 1.
He said this international partner was the first mover in establishing a strong ecosystem to support the infrastructure for the exchange.
"There will be a strategic investor who will be bringing in more than RM3.5 billion in foreign direct investment. There will be a special ceremony in September to mark this during which the identity and details will be announced," Najib said.
The Tun Razak Exchange is a 28 hectare (70-acre) haven for new investment opportunities, estimated to generate RM26 billion in gross development value.
It will encompass world-leading international design and progressive planning tenets; its buildings and infrastructures will conform to the highest levels of sustainability.
Pedestrians will be able to walk and play in green public areas and it will have seamless links to public transportation including the mass rapid transit.
Najib said over 250 of the world s leading companies would be located at the exchange, creating some 500,000 jobs directly and indirectly by the time the exchange was fully completed.
"40,000 will be knowledge workers specialised in financial services, reflecting our ambition for the Tun Razak Exchange to be home to a strong, vibrant and diverse international business community," he said.
With the new exchange, Najib said there would be further growth on Islamic finance, a sector of unlimited potential.
The prime minister said the Government was committed to make the exchange easier for investors to participate in Malaysia s Islamic finance markets and further strengthen its position as a global hub for Islamic Finance.
The Islamic finance, worth just US$5 billion in 1985, is worth more than US$1 trillion today.
Malaysia s Islamic finance sector is already worth over US$400 billion and the booming sector is set to triple in value in the coming decade.