Labuan needs more professionals to continue with its vibrant growth as a financial services centre, says Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) chairman Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob.
He said these would further complement the various services offered to international financial institutions currently operating on the island.
“One way is to have professional courses like master of business administration, international financial management, international laws and professional accounting courses from local or foreign universities to which they can set up their branches here to complement the Labuan financial services,” he said.
Sulaiman said this to Bernama after presenting a talk on ‘Economic and Financial Development in the Region: Opportunities and Challenges for Labuan International Business & Financial Centre (IBFC)’, here today.
He said MIDA would play a greater role in the marketing and promotion of the financial services of Labuan IBFC internationally.
“We will bring the Labuan Financial Services Authority (Labuan FSA) on international trade and investment missions and see how we can ‘sell’ Labuan as a preferred international financial service centre,” he said.
Sulaiman said Labuan FSA has been “doing its level best” over the years and has managed to attract an increasing number of companies from over 80 countries.
“But of course they need to shift to ‘third gear’ and set a new direction in order to continue to growth in the financial services area internationally,” he said.
He said the Labuan oil and gas sector was one of the sectors included in the National Key Economic Areas to activate the Economic Transformation Programme.
“The oil and gas players must play their roles by holding serious discussions with financial players on how to work together to further develop the sector in line with the national agenda,” he said.
MIDA, he said, has been tasked to propel the various sectors in the country and one of them was the financial services.
Meanwhile, Labuan FSA director-general, Datuk Azizan Abd Rahman, said the Labuan IBFC has played a big role in financing the oil and gas sector in terms of leasing and insurance.
He said Labuan’s economy was generated mainly by the booming oil and gas and shipping sectors.