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Kuala Lumpur Economy

Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding urban areas form the most industrialized and economically, the fastest growing region in Malaysia. Despite the relocation of federal government administration to Putrajaya, certain government’s important machineries such as Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia), Companies Commission of Malaysia and Securities Commission as well as most embassies and diplomatic missions have remained in the city.

The city remains as the economic and business center of the country. In fact, the city is a center for finance, insurance, real estate, media and the arts of Malaysia. The infrastructure development in the surrounding areas such as the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at Sepang, the creation of the Multimedia Super Corridor and the expansion of Port Klang further reinforce the economic significance of the city.

Bursa Malaysia or the Malaysia Exchange is based in the city and forms one of its core economic activities. The service sector comprising finance, insurance, real estate, business services, wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels, transport, storage and communication, utilities, personal services and government services form the largest component of employment representing about 83 percent of the total. The remaining 17 percent comes from manufacturing and construction.

The large service sector is evident in the number of local and foreign banks and insurance companies operating in the city. The city has a large number of foreign corporations and is also host to many multi national companies’ regional offices or support centres, particularly for finance and accounting, and information technology functions.

Other important economic activities in the city are education and health services. Kuala Lumpur also has advantages stemming from the high concentration of educational institutions located within its boundaries, providing a wide range of courses. There are numerous public and private medical specialist centres and hospitals in the city which offer general health services and a wide range of specialist surgery and treatment catering to locals and tourists.

There has been growing emphasis to expand the economic scope of the city into other service activities such as research and development which supports the rest of the economy of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur has been home for years to important research centers such as the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia, the Forest Research Institute Malaysia and the Institute of Medical Research and more research centers are expected to be established in the coming years.