CYBERJAYA, April 27 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and US President Barack Obama today officially launched the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC). The United States leader, who is on a three-day visit to Malaysia, stopped by in Cyberjaya to be briefed on MaGIC, which he said is a glowing testament to Malaysia-US collaboration. He also spent about 30 minutes meeting and talking to selected young entrepreneurs and students. In his remarks, Obama said Malaysia and the US have a shared commitment to foster entrepreneurship especially among young people. “We want you to be able to create things and start your own companies and businesess, and come up with your own products and services because that’s how our society grows.
“The dreams and talents of these young people help to fuel our economies and create jobs and they also bring our countries closer together,” Obama said. He said around the world, the US is helping young entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate and start their own businesses, serve their communities, and tackle global challenges like education and climate change, adding MaGIC can turn their ideas into reality. MaGIC’s establishment was announced by Najib at last year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Kuala Lumpur. The GES was mooted by Obama, but he could not make it to the summit held in October last year as he had to address the US federal government’s shutdown. “I was proud to host the first GES in Washington. The fourth GES was in Kuala Lumpur last year and the impact was phenomenal. This centre is a direct result of the summit that PM Najib hosted,” Obama said.
He added partnership and idea sharing between the US and Malaysia especially among young people would continue with the power of the internet. “I look forward to see more great things in the future,” he said. Meanwhile, Najib announced the compound in front of the MaGIC building will be known as the “Obama Oval”. 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. With RM50 million in allocations, the centre would help with intellectual property registrations and offer facilities for training, coaching and mentoring. An additional RM20 million has also been pumped in to support the development of social enterprises. As an incubator for young entrepreneurs, MaGIC is also collaborating with US universities and organisations such as Stanford University and UP Global to widen their business networking.