KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 – US President Barack Obama is expected to launch the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) in Cyberjaya on Sunday. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is also expected to accompany Obama at the event. MaGIC’s establishment was announced by Najib at last year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) here. MaGIC is aimed at transforming Malaysia into a dynamic entrepreneurial nation by enabling domestic and international entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. The centre is designed to become a one-stop hub for entrepreneurs, which will provide every facility needed by an entrepreneur — from obtaining funding from banks or providing incubators for venture capitalists developing start-ups to improve their products and services. The centre will also help with the intellectual property registrations and offer facilities for training, coaching and mentoring.

Finance Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said recently nine programmes have been created under MaGIC to hone the entrepreneurial skills among youths. “MaGIC’s objective is that we want to be able to create an ecosystem, whereby the people, especially the youths, can see the opportunities of having their own business instead of working for other people. “This does not only contribute to the country’s growth, but will also bring foreign companies here to invest in their companies,” Mohd Irwan, who is also MaGIC chairman, said. The GES is an idea mooted by Obama himself.

The president could not make it to attend the summit in October last year as he had to address the US federal government’s shutdown. The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who represented Obama at the summit, said the president would make up for his absence by visiting Malaysia soon. It looks like Obama is honouring his promise as he will be in Malaysia for a three-day visit from April 26 as part of his four-nation Asian tour that will take him to South Korea, Japan and the Philippines. Obama is scheduled to arrive here on Saturday afternoon, the first by a serving US President in 48 years since President Lyndon Johnson’s visit in 1966.

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