Malaysia: Labuan IBFC May Assist Penang-Based Businesses Looking To Expand Regionally
Last Updated: 19 October 2016

The midshore jurisdiction is on a tour in Penang, part of its Malaysian Roadshow, to promote its comprehensive business solutions to the Malaysian-based companies

Penang, 11 October 2016 – Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC) is an ideal strategic pathway for Malaysian businesses that are looking at penetrating the ASEAN's burgeoning markets. This was one of the key takeaways from the Labuan IBFC-MICCI Malaysian Roadshow for 2016 in Penang today.

"With the ASEAN Economic Community, investors and businesses, including those based in Malaysia are able to gain access to a larger marketplace in ASEAN. In this regard, Labuan IBFC is an ideal entry point for Malaysian investors and businesses into ASEAN, allowing companies to operate in a tax and currency neutral environment offered in the jurisdiction.

"Without a doubt, Labuan IBFC's unique qualities offer comprehensive options for Malaysian businesses that are going global to look at penetrating the ASEAN's burgeoning markets," said Datuk Chin Chee Kee, a Member of the Board in Labuan IBFC Incorporated Sdn Bhd.

According to him, the Labuan IBFC-MICCI Malaysian Roadshow seeks to showcase Labuan IBFC's strategic position in in the region linking and facilitating trade and investments across Asia's economies, including from Malaysia out to the region.

Labuan Financial Services Authority's (Labuan FSA) 2015 Annual Report reported that Labuan IBFC incorporated 836 new companies last year. In the wealth management sector, a key sector for Labuan IBFC, recorded nearly 28% increase in the number of Labuan foundations, bringing the total of number to 166.

To further entrench its leadership in the wealth management sector, the midshore jurisdiction also introduced its Labuan international waqf guidelines in 2015, making it the first international financial centre to facilitate the establishment of a waqf in a private wealth management solution.

Labuan IBFC also offers trusts, private trust companies and protected cell companies, the latter structures often being used to "house" funds which are in turned owned by trusts, foundations or family offices.

Chin also said that Labuan IBFC has grown from strength to strength in the 26 years and such has clearly demonstrated by the robustness of the financial centre, notwithstanding a downturn in global trade and investments.

He added: "We are fortunate to be in Asia, which allows Labuan IBFC to grow in tandem with the region. At a time when some other centres are recording negative growth rates, Labuan IBFC recorded an increase of over 7% in the number of companies. It is a testament of not only the attractiveness of Labuan IBFC but also the high economic prospects of the region.

Currently, Labuan IBFC is home to 13,000 companies, 209 insurance companies, 54 banks and 374 leasing companies establishing a strong and sound financial infrastructure.

MICCI President Datuk Wira Jallilah Baba said, "We highly encourage the members of MICCI to take advantage of the trade and investment opportunities in Labuan IBFC, especially for companies which export their products and services."

Chairman of MICCI's Penang and The North Branch, Brian Tan Guan Hooi who is also the President and CEO of Texchem Food Sdn Bhd said: "Incorporate in Labuan, for the best 'where', 'when' and 'how' financial business centre."

The Labuan IBFC-MICCI Malaysian Roadshow 2016 aims to target local business owners looking to internationalise or regionalise their businesses by offering Labuan IBFC's diverse services and solutions in a well-regulated yet cost-efficient and business-friendly environment.

The roadshow consisted of a series of half-day masterclass with a focus on introducing the midshore jurisdiction and its offerings, ending with a panel discussion. It will also be in Johor (November 17) and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (November 22).

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