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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29, 2014:

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launched the Innovating Malaysia Conference 2014 organised by Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM).

During his speech, Najib touched on the National Corporate Innovation Index (NCII) which he said would be a badge of honour.

“The NCII is designed to accelerate growth of corporations in Malaysia and significant players in the respective markets, which is crucial towards driving our economy.

“The NCII will give companies a comprehensive overview of crucial areas that need to be managed to boost its innovativeness.

“It aims to institutionalise innovation and governance within corporations and help identify mechanisms for corporations to engage in innovation activities that will ensure their long-term sustainability,” he said.

He said the NCII aspired to develop a more comprehensive, well-reasoned view of innovation investment and returns and educate the larger private sector community to help nurture a climate that encourages and not penalises innovation endeavours.

“Furthermore, if a corporation outlines its innovation journey and plan and shares compelling stories on innovation, as what Amazon and eBay does, with its stakeholders and the investment community, it can help players in the equity markets better understand and value innovation.

“The NCII will serve as a badge of honour for companies in the long run. It would be similar in spirit to Bursa’s Environmental, Social and Governance Index, which is only the second of its kind in Asia,” said the prime minister.

At the same time, Najib said that Malaysia was is in the top two among 40 upper-middle income economies and ranked 33 out of 143 countries in the Global Innovation Index 2014.

“However, we must not be complacent on where we are as we have been around this same spot for several years,” he said, adding that the government had recently made investments to boost innovation among various groups via the difference communities and agencies.

Among them were Agensi Inovasi Malaysia, the organiser of today’s event, MAGIC and Cradle.

Najib also said he was told that many start-ups find it difficult to penetrate large organisations and companies, stemming from issues ranging from a lack of experience or track record, rigid procurement policies that build high barriers of entry or which favour foreign or established players.

“It is time we change and remove all these barriers to innovation. Corporations should make earnest efforts to support our capable emerging businesses to deliver value to them and to also venture into international markets,” he said.

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