SPARK 2024 intends to promote the region collectively by gathering potential investors who are interested in setting up their bases or manufacturing facilities in the region, in alignment with the leadership of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Held from 25 to 27 July 2024, SPARK 2024 is themed “Selangor, Gateway to ASEAN” to reflect Selangor’s competitive advantages as a key and strategic hub to ASEAN, as the state seeks to leverage the opportunities presented by the ASEAN market, given the region’s diverse and young population.

According to Dato’ Hasan Azhari Idris, CEO of Invest Selangor Berhad (Invest Selangor), the upcoming Selangor Investment and Industrial Park Expo (SPARK 2024) is designed to showcase Selangor’s capabilities and attractiveness as an investment destination in the Southeast Asian (SEA) region, in healthy competition with other cities in the region.  

“We want to provide a one-stop event that showcases potential investment locations in Malaysia as well as in SEA, with the participation of most states in Malaysia as well as other countries in SEA including Timor-Leste,” he explains.

Dato’ Hasan highlights the fact that the participation of multiple ASEAN nations as well as Timor-Leste at SPARK 2024 means that the expo is able to empower investors to gain insights into the different investment locations with SEA at a single event.

“Investors and business delegations can evaluate and compare each location to find the most suitable for them, as well as to build relationships with suitable potential partners for their investment projects. SPARK will also feature other services related to industrial park ecosystems; investors are able to meet these service providers – including related government officials – to discuss their investment projects efficiently before making the final decisions,” the Invest Selangor CEO added.

SPARK 2024 will encompass pocket talks, networking sessions, and presentations from relevant industry leaders and experts, through which attendees can gain knowledge about market trends, regulatory frameworks, investment incentives, and other relevant information.

“SPARK 2024 will feature a total of 4 halls, with the capability of accommodating over 400 booths. So far, we have received an encouraging response from a majority of ASEAN member countries and Timor-Leste, all of whom will have representation in SPARK. Participating companies represent a diverse range of business sectors – industrial park and property developers, investment promotional agencies, banks and financial institutions, human resource and training providers, logistics providers, utility and telco providers, and other service providers,” Dato’ Hasan highlights.

SPARK 2024 will be held in parallel with the 8th Selangor ASEAN Business Conference (SABC 2024) as part of the overall Selangor International Business Summit. As Dato’ Hasan explains, SABC 2024 will provide investors and business communities an intellectual discourse platform for them to better understand each country’s value proposition before visiting their respective pavilions in SPARK 2024.

“We hope that the combination of these events will help generate discussion and networking opportunities between potential investors, ASEAN business leaders, as well as government officials attending SABC and SPARK. Through these engagements between key economic players, stakeholders, and thought leaders, SABC 2024 aims to facilitating knowledge sharing, networking, and exchange of ideas that can inspire new strategies, collaborations, and partnerships to drive innovation, inclusive growth, and prosperity in ASEAN. SABC 2024 will also help business leaders discover diverse investment opportunities and gain insights into emerging industries within ASEAN, unlocking potential growth prospects for industry leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs alike.”

Invest Selangor is going all in with positioning Selangor as a vital part of an ASEAN that is economically integrated, as is evidenced by the themes of both SPARK 2024 and SABC 2024 (Selangor, the Key of ASEAN: Accelerating Prosperity through Strategic Connectivity and Resilience), deriving inspiration from the 2024 ASEAN chairmanship theme.

“Selangor attracts global business investors due to its strategic location, advanced infrastructure, skilled workforce, and supportive business environment. Key initiatives like Managed Industrial Park (MIP) and Integrated Development Regional in Southern Selangor (IDRISS) receive government incentives to promote regional development,” Dato’ Hasan points out.

IDRISS, backed by private investment and government support, covers a vast area with a high development value. Incentives like special premiums, interest-free development charge payments, and tax exemptions spur IDRISS’s growth. MIP, which is managed by dedicated industrial park managers, benefits from fast-track approvals, tax exemptions for vacant land, reduced taxes for buildings, and waived business license fees to encourage investment and development efficiency.

“For new and existing investors thinking of finding suitable investment locations in Selangor, they can also consider taking up the Selangor Soft Landing Program, where the state provides investors assistance with complimentary office spaces while considering their best locations. In addition, there are also other incentives such as assistance in sourcing lab facilities for specific sectors, especially for life sciences and biotech investments. Overall, Selangor’s incentives and initiatives showcase its commitment to a conducive investment climate and sustainable regional growth.”