This new urban economy in Kuala Lumpur shall be characterized by an abundance of skilled human resources. Wealth generated largely from the intense sharing of codified knowledge and information, and new knowledge gained from R&D and intellectual property, increased collaboration between firms and institutions, the extensive use of information and communications technologies (ICT) and the development of more effective learning mechanisms across the entire economy. Spatial growth in Kuala Lumpur over the past decade has been closely associated with the growth of its urban economic activities. The new emerging economies envisioned for Kuala Lumpur shall strengthen it’s central role as the Capital City of Malaysia and the nation’s largest employment centre, where principal concentrations of business, finance, retail, tourist and cultural activities for the entire nation are located. It is thus crucial for the Draft KL City Plan 2020 to develop an urban structure that will meet the demands of this new urban economy. The plan will identify how this economic growth and expansion will be accomodated in Kuala Lumpur’s spatial and development built form. The Plan must also acknowledge the role of Kuala Lumpur not only as the Capital City of Malaysia but also its function as an important national growth node and gateway towards developing a global economy.
The Draft KL City Plan 2020 has designated a premier business and financial zone in the City Centre, which is also identified as an international zone. This premier zone shall spearhead Kuala Lumpur into a global city and shall provide for quality housing, grade ‘A’ office buildings, international 5-star hotels and a quality built environment that is safe and attractive for international business and local communities to conduct business, work and live in Kuala Lumpur. The vision for Kuala Lumpur to be A World-Class City is encapsulated in this premier zone which is also a competitive zone in the city. It gives the city an edge in attracting new investments and in expanding existing investments. The premier zone shall have two main areas, i.e., the financial precinct and the business precinct.
The financial precinct will provide for corporate international and national headquarters, agencies and embassy functions which are becoming increasingly important because of globalization. The presence of international financial and business activities in the city provides great opportunities for international and domestic organisations including financial intermediaries and institutions to enhance their networking partnerships, to create economies of scale in adopting innovative information technology and infrastructure and to attract skilled human resources who are fundamental to the continuous success of business. The thrust for ward therefore demands that Kuala Lumpur invests in its physical capital and assets (housing, environment, physical infrastructure, community facilities, roads, transportation), and also in its human capital. By doing this, it further enhances itself as an attractive location for knowledge intensive businesses.
This would also assist in fulfilling the objectives of Malaysia’s Capital Master Plan (CMP) and the Financial Sector Master Plan (FSMP). One strategic move is to make Malaysia a major international Islamic Financial hub which will further enhance Kuala Lumpur’s position internationally. The increasing liberalization of the financial industry, accompanied by the expansion of the range and types of financial services, would attract international banks, financial institutions and other trading and broking firms to set up their regional and international headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. The designated financial precinct shall provide the enabling environment for these entities.
The business precinct is the immediate area outside of the fi nancial precinct within the area of Jalan Ampang-Jalan Tun Razak -KLCC-Bukit Bintang leading into Jalan Imbi; Jalan Tun Abdul Rahman- Chow Kit-Jalan Dang Wangi, Jalan Pudu-Jalan Petaling-Jalan Sultan -Jalan Hang Jebat. Here, all kinds of businesses are attracted by the spillover effects of Kuala Lumpur’s dynamic economic activities in the fi nancial precinct which will serve as the catalyst for the growth of other business and professional services. It is here that the City will be able to focus on building up a creative class because creativity is the winning factor to increase a city’s competitive edge. Creative and cultural activities are central to an advanced city’s identity and a key sector in world cities. Creative and cultural activities and business tend to be attracted to international zones because of their ambience and cosmopolitanism.
Kuala Lumpur acknowledges the expansion of its international community. Where traditionally, the international community in Kuala Lumpur is centred on and in areas where the foreign embassies are located. The City has become more cosmopolitan, with the rise of multinational and transnational firms setting up offices and headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. Many of the members of its international community are workers and permanent residents attracted into the country by the abundance of job opportunities, and by the offer of attractive terms under the ‘Malaysia My Second Home’ (MM2H) program.
Kuala Lumpur has designate four areas as International Zone and these areas include the City Centre, Bangsar -Damansara, Jalan Ampang - Jalan Tun Razak - Jalan U-Thant - Jalan Damai - Jalan Semarak, Titiwangsa and Bukit Jalil. These international enclaves do not merely serve as residential areas; they also function as key commercial areas, offering quality offices, entertainment, fine dining, shopping, and tourism based activities such as medical and educational tourism.