AstraZeneca will be investing more than RM500 million (USD125m) in Malaysia over the next five years to demonstrate its strengthening commitment towards patients, innovation and talent development in the country as well as to roll 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. The new headquarters will be 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, 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 headquarter, the Company signed a memorandum of agreement with InvestKL, co-signed by 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 to improve access to healthcare, AstraZeneca aims to enhance disease prevention, awareness and treatment, building capacity in areas with limited infrastructure and improving affordability for underserved patients.
Patino 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.”
The inauguration was officiated by Dr Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, and witnessed by Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt, Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia together with David Thomas, Acting British High Commissioner to Malaysia. They were accompanied by Marc Dunoyer, Chief Financial Officer, AstraZeneca, Jo Feng, Senior Vice President, Asia Area, AstraZeneca and Patino.
“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,” added Dunoyer.
Meanwhile, Zainal stated, “AstraZeneca and InvestKL are working together in shaping stronger vendor collaboration to support and enhance product innovation and my team will also work with various universities in building the local talent pool to support AstraZeneca’s business in the region.”