Petaling Jaya, Malaysia – AstraZeneca will invest more than RM500 million (USD125m) in Malaysia over the next five years demonstrating a strengthening commitment towards patients, innovation and talent development in the country and rolling out new robotic and cognitive technology designed to improve efficiency and drive productivity across the Company’s global operations.
The investment will include a new AstraZeneca Malaysia headquarters in Nucleus Tower, Mutiara Damansara which is part of Greater Kuala Lumpur, housing local and global business operations across a wide variety of functions, such as finance and procurement leadership for the region. This is part of AstraZeneca’s ongoing commitment to boost high-value skills and employment, and in bringing new science and innovation to help patients.
In addition, a new Global Business Services hub will be equipped with cutting-edge robotic technology and automation to support financial, accounting and business services for AstraZeneca operations in the Asia Pacific region. A Robotic and Cognitive Centre will deliver ‘digital disruption’ in day-to-day operations, bringing greater efficiency and improving productivity that will be scaled across global operations using Robotic Process Automation, mimicking human actions by performing repetitive rules-based tasks across multiple applications.
The hub is one of AstraZeneca’s three shared services hubs globally, including in Costa Rica and Poland, and builds on the growth of the global business services sector in Malaysia, valued at USD240 billion in the Asia Pacific in 2014.
At the inauguration of the new HQ, the Company signed a Memorandum of Agreement with InvestKL, co-signed by Mr Allen Patino, Country President, AstraZeneca Malaysia and Datuk Zainal Amanshah, Chief Executive Officer, InvestKL, to collaborate on innovation, talent development and partnerships between 2019-2023. In line with its strategy for improving access to healthcare, AstraZeneca aims to improve disease prevention, awareness and treatment, building capacity in areas with limited infrastructure and improving affordability for underserved patients.
The inauguration was officiated by Dr Ong Kian Ming, the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, and witnessed by Mr Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt, the Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia and Mr David Thomas, Deputy British High Commission to Malaysia. They were accompanied by Mr Marc Dunoyer, Chief Financial Officer, AstraZeneca, Ms Jo Feng, Senior Vice President, Asia Area, AstraZeneca and Mr Allen Patino, Country President, AstraZeneca Malaysia.
Marc Dunoyer, Chief Financial Officer, AstraZeneca, said: “We are pleased to expand our presence in Malaysia with this investment, particularly the setting up of this strategic delivery hub for finance and business services within the Greater Kuala Lumpur area. This location has many advantages, including a sophisticated business ecosystem and business-friendly policies, well-developed infrastructure and a robust multilingual talent pool with medical, HR and IT engineering qualifications. We expect to employ 600 people by 2023, almost all of whom will be Malaysian.”
Allen Patino, Country President, AstraZeneca Malaysia, said: “In our almost 40-year presence in Malaysia, AstraZeneca has built strong portfolios in medical education, diagnostics, research, disease prevention activities and various programmes to increase affordability and access to innovative medicines, all of which aim to achieve better healthcare outcomes for patients in Malaysia. We are planning close collaborations with our partners to explore digital transformation in the management of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and cancer in Malaysia.”
Datuk Zainal Amanshah, Chief Executive Officer, InvestKL, said: “First, allow me to congratulate AstraZeneca on the launch of its new headquarters and Global Business Services hub serving the Asia Pacific. We are pleased that after almost four decades, AstraZeneca continues to place confidence in Malaysia as a hub. Greater Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia offer a strong proposition for global multinationals to create better value and move up the value chain. With this MOA today, AstraZeneca and my team are working together in shaping stronger vendor collaboration to support and enhance product innovation. The team will also work with various universities in building the local talent pool to support AstraZeneca’s business in the region.”
About AstraZeneca in Malaysia
Spread over a 50,000 sq ft space across five floors, the new AstraZeneca Malaysia HQ serves as the primary hub for AstraZeneca Global Finance Services Management Reporting, providing additional support for Corporate Treasury Centre reporting, with Global Finance Office metrics reporting also being moved from the United Kingdom to Malaysia. The Analytics team in Malaysia also supports functions such as process mining, predictive modelling, natural-language generation and cognitive automation.