International ICT companies collaborate
The momentum marked by bilateral agreements, especially in the security sector in 2016, is rolling over into this year. For example earlier this month, F-Secure Corporation chief executive officer Samu Konttinen in an exclusive interview had praised MDEC's efforts for the Malaysian ICT industry as one of the main reasons why the Finnish company had chosen Malaysia as its hub for the Asia-Pacific region.
"We set up our Asia hub in Malaysia more than 10 years ago, due to three big drivers. First, we needed to provide 24/7 service to our customers - as our global headquarters is in Helsinki, we wanted another site that was, timezone-wise, different enough from Helsinki that we can really operate round-the-clock.
"Secondly, we wanted to find a place that had a large enough talent pool, with good universities and people with cryptographic capabilities - that we found in Malaysia as well as a few neighbouring countries. Hence, our Kuala Lumpur office employs not just Malaysians, but also other Southeast Asian nationalities.
"Thirdly, there was good support from the Malaysian government and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). That was the final driver for us to place our Asian hub in Kuala Lumpur," Konttinen had said.