What new initiatives is Cyberview currently involved in?
HASHIM: We are striving to bring the township of Cyberjaya to another level. There will be a few development projects that we'll be undertaking, one of which is the development of the city center which will create a focal point for Cyberjaya and the surrounding developments within 30 to 50 km. The city centre development will kick start in the first quarter of next year and it will be easily accessible and pedestrian friendly. It may take us close to 10 to 15 years until the project is fully completed, but of course it will be developed in stages. It is important for us to get the first stage started because it will allow us to move on to the following stages of development.
What kind of investment this will represent overall?
HASHIM: In order to complete the development, we will be contributing a gross development value of MYR 8bn ($2.5bn), which is in addition to the rest of the gross development value being carried out by other sub-developers and co-developers that are active in Cyberjaya.
What are the primary factors that have drawn investors, both domestic and international?
HASHIM: It's all about location and how we are able to provide an area that is convenient and ideal to investors. They have their own checklist, which I think sets quite a high standard. I think we’ve been able to meet their demands. We are in an ideal location and we provide stability, safety, security, public amenities and a great infrastructure. Also, having the entire eco-system and ensuring that it evolves and grows so that it can continue to nurture and cultivate companies who choose Cyberjaya is the key ingredient.
What kinds of investors are you looking for?
HASHIM: The strategy is always to bring the leaders, the ‘big boys’ if you will, among technology companies. From there, the other companies will follow suit. This includes regional, global, and domestic companies alike. With the icons coming first, the entire ecosystem will begin to form naturally. The sustainable eco-system enables companies to progressively grow while Cyberview ensures the eco-system keeps apace, evolving with time and the needs of the community and our customers.
Who are some of the ‘big boys’ that you've brought in that weren't previously in Malaysia?
HASHIM: Many companies have setup global centers here. Some examples include Dell, HP, BMW, NTT MSC, HSBC and DHL. There are many more and in fact we have 35 MNCs in Cyberjaya at the moment.
In terms of space available and the overall development, how many more companies are you looking to bring? What's the capacity that you're looking to fill?
HASHIM: I expect that there will be many more companies to come because we still have more capacity. At this stage, when talking about the land and real estate development, we still have a good 29% of the land yet to be developed. There are currently different areas being developed. Of the 71% considered to be developed, more than 30% are either in the planning or under construction stage. We can certainly accommodate many more companies. Besides the multi-national companies, we also want to attract large local companies as well in order to supplement the talent pool. In fact, we’ve set it as a priority to attract more talent so that we can provide investors with more options.
What would you say, in terms of what you have on the ground for infrastructure, would be interesting for MNCs? What about the infrastructure would you say is suited towards their business needs?
HASHIM: Because the focus of Cyberjaya is on the ICT sector, I would emphasize telecommunication and power supply as necessities of the industry, both of which we do very well. Of course, when it comes to employees, one thinks of accessibility. Here, in Cyberjaya, we have excellent connectivity to highways and to public transport. We have ensured that the infrastructure is suitable to meet the needs of the companies.
Was Cyberview a greenfield design or based on an existing development, such as Silicon Valley or Dubai Internet City?
HASHIM: Cyberjaya is actually a greenfield development, modeled against Silicon Valley to a certain degree. Cyberjaya has reached the tipping point where it has the right scale and mass and most importantly the proven track record in helping companies to grow and prosper. This is a key component for companies when choosing their preferred business address.
Many companies have setup global centers here. Some examples include Dell, HP, BMW, NTT MSC, HSBC and DHL. There are many more and in fact we have 35 MNCs in Cyberjaya at the moment.
What are the biggest challenges that you've faced thus far in this development?
HASHIM: The biggest challenge has been attracting masses in a much faster way. Of course, there are challenges in this endeavor and we have various competitors, both regionally and globally. We believe Malaysia and specifically Cyberjaya has an edge with regard to attracting FDI, which is why Malaysia is often at the top of companies’ lists as they make their decision about where to locate a global center.
What do you think the best investment opportunities are within Cyberjaya?
HASHIM: In recent years many people have looked at Cyberjaya as a place to live and this trend is continuing. In the last two years there has been an increase in the number of sub-developers coming to Cyberjaya to build residential developments. This is proof that people are buying and coming to this area. With regards to attracting regional and foreign investment, we’ve always had a steady flow of inquiries and bids from many companies across the ICT sector. We’ve seen interest from the financial, engineering, and industrial sectors as well. Companies are looking for a place to further invest, and they wish to grow their investments.
In what ways do you see the ICT industry contributing to the overall economic growth and development of Malaysia?
HASHIM: ICT actually serves all industries; I think that's the best part. ICT will always be relevant and will be in higher demand because it crosses all boundaries. I’m confident of having ICT as our focus in Cyberjaya because all other industries rely on ICT.
What is the role of Cyberview within Cyberjaya?
HASHIM: Cyberview’s evolving role see it taking the lead in promoting development, business and community activities in Cyberjaya by creating a supportive eco-system within the township. Cyberview has transformed Cyberjaya into MSC Malaysia’s pioneer and premier cybercity that host over 600 companies with 35 Multinational and boasts a growing population of about 51,000 people. Cyberjaya was created as a greenfield development 15 years ago on a piece of land about 7,000 acres in size. Cyberjaya is also developed as a model intelligent city offering an eco-friendly, sustainable environment encouraging minimal pollution emissions, energy saving development and harmonious integration of development with the existing environment. To date, 71% of the land has been developed or is under construction or planning. We've been able to attract a combination of over 620 multi-national and local companies and have close to 35 multi-national companies and counting; we would love to have more. It's an effort that we are continuously pursuing because there is much more that we can offer to multi-national companies. It has been 15 years since inception and we’ve been able to attract about MYR12.5bn ($3.9bn) of investment; this is a combination of Cyberview’s developments and those of co-developers and sub-developers. Regionally, one of our roles is also to nurture the SMEs, the startups, and to try to expose them to a much bigger market. We hope to see them make larger deals and to better market their products and services. By setting up in Cyberjaya, we hope for these companies to expand from domestic to regional market, and eventually to the global market. Companies that have a good product should see great success as they expand globally. Today, Cyberjaya is a hive of activities, organised and tailor-made specifically for every type of community. We’re a well-planned township and an ideal location to live, study, work, and play.