Malaysia’s Golden Pass Initiative to Attract Global Unicorns and VC Firms

Malaysia aims to attract global unicorns via Unicorn Golden Pass – Rafizi during KL20 Summit 2024

Malaysia is actively working towards attracting global unicorns through the implementation of the Unicorn Golden Pass initiative, according to Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli. In order to entice these startups, Malaysia is offering a comprehensive package of incentives, making it an attractive southeast Asian base for global technology companies.

These incentives include waived fees for employment passes for senior management, subsidized rental options, concessionary tax rates on corporate profits, relocation services, and a startup concierge service that assists with the registration process, aiming to establish Kuala Lumpur as a Southeast Asian base for global technology companies.

Aims to position Malaysia among top 20 startup ecosystems worldwide

The term “unicorn” is commonly used in the venture capital industry to describe privately held startups that have a valuation exceeding US$1 billion.

Rafizi also highlighted the KL20 initiative, which aims to position Malaysia, particularly Kuala Lumpur, among the top 20 startup ecosystems worldwide. This initiative places a strong emphasis on pragmatism and taking immediate action rather than relying solely on plans and blueprints to attract global technology companies.

As part of the KL20 initiative, several programs have been introduced, such as the VC Golden Pass, Innovation Pass, Unicorn Golden Pass, GPU Scheme, Innovation Belt, and the Single Window, all unveiled at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre during the KL20 Summit 2024.

Rafizi emphasized that these programs are not just theoretical concepts, but are already in motion and actively operating, with a specific focus on turning Kuala Lumpur into a Southeast Asian hub for global technology companies. He further stated that additional schemes will be launched in the near future, with the goal of immediate implementation.

KL20 Action Plan to unleash the full potential of Malaysia’s Startup Ecosystem

The KL20 Action Plan outlines various new initiatives that focus on accelerating the growth of critical areas within the startup ecosystem, including capital, talent, and the quality of startups, to position Kuala Lumpur as a premier destination for technology companies under the Unicorn Golden Pass.

Malaysia’s ambition is to become the preferred destination for early-stage and growth capital, attract world-class entrepreneurs and skilled talent, and serve as a home for leading startups seeking to establish, expand, and thrive. 

Malaysia aims to attract venture capitalists via VC Golden Pass

Under the VC Golden Pass, the government aims to attract top venture capitalists with sophisticated venture-sourcing capabilities and a global reach to establish their presence in Malaysia, turning it into a hub for high-skilled talent and technology companies. To achieve this, a range of incentives will be offered, such as access to limited partner (LP) funding opportunities, subsidized office spaces, expedited license registrations, and waived fees for employment passes.


What is Malaysia’s Golden Pass Initiative?

Malaysia’s Golden Pass Initiative is a program designed to attract global unicorns and venture capital firms by offering perks such as tax benefits and a streamlined application process.

What is the aim of the Golden Pass Initiative?

The main goal of the Golden Pass Initiative is to make Malaysia a hub for high-skilled and high-value job creation, besides developing a pipeline of future entrepreneurs and senior leaders in the Southeast Asia region.

Who introduced the Golden Pass Initiative?

The Golden Pass Initiative was introduced by Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, to attract global unicorns and venture capital firms to set up operations in Malaysia.

How does the Golden Pass Initiative benefit companies?

The Initiative offers perks such as a multi-tier employment pass programme, exempted fees for employment passes, and an enlarged pool of high-skilled talent to help companies establish a presence in Malaysia more easily.

What is the significance of the Unicorn Golden Pass in the initiative?

The Unicorn Golden Pass is a special permit that allows global unicorns to establish operations in Malaysia with ease, helping in the creation of high-value jobs and boosting the economy.

What is meant by a single window for permit processing in the Golden Pass Initiative?

The single window system in the Golden Pass Initiative simplifies the process for companies applying for permits, making it more efficient and less time-consuming.

How does the Golden Pass Initiative contribute to Southeast Asia’s business landscape?

The Golden Pass Initiative positions Malaysia as an attractive destination for businesses in Southeast Asia, offering access to a pool of high-skilled talent and government support for growth.

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