China Railway to build $2bn regional headquarters in Malaysia

China Railway Group (CREC) is to invest $2bn in the construction of an office complex in Bandar Malaysia, a new, 196-hectare district of Kuala Lumpur being developed to the southwest of the city.

CREC will occupy the complex itself, using it as a consolidated regional HQ.

The announcement was made 21 March by Malaysia’s prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"This is an open statement of CREC’s faith and confidence in the Malaysian economy," he told a press conference at the Hilton Hotel.

(The scheme is) an economic catalyst, helping transform Kuala Lumpur into one of the world’s most exciting and liveable global cities– Architect Broadway Malyan

He welcomed investment from China, which has "increased enormously" in the past few years, he said, adding that China and Hong Kong’s stake in the Malaysian economy has been growing at a rate of 22% over the past seven years.

The announcement comes three months after CREC and Malaysian property developer Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) acquired 60% of the equity in the Bandar Malaysia scheme, which is located about 7km from the centre of Kuala Lumpur at the future terminus of the Singapore high-speed rail line.

CREC and IWH bid $1.8bn for their holding; the remaining 40% is held by the Ministry of Finance.

Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo, IWH’s chief executive, said Bandar Malaysia was expected to have a gross development value of some $40bn.

CREC, currently ranked by ENR as the world’s largest construction company, said it would be consolidating all of its current regional businesses and operations in the office complex, and would also offer space to multinational companies who wanted to move to Bandar Malaysia.

Prime Minister Razak said this would help make Malaysia a truly developed economy by attracting talent from around the world.

The scheme has been masterplanned by UK architect Broadway Malyan which describes it as "an economic catalyst, helping transform Kuala Lumpur into one of the world’s most exciting and liveable global cities".

As well as a cultural quarter and premises for entrepreneurs, the district will have 27,000 units of housing.

Photograph: Broadway Malyan’s rendering of a possible office development as part of its Bandar Malaysia masterplan

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