ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and i2M Ventures recently signed a Strategic Partnership to officially seal a collaboration between both parties to create a ready pool of GBS-skilled talents equipped with Global Business Services (GBS) Qualifications and expertise amongst final year students in institutions of higher learning and to promote Iskandar Puteri as a hub for Global Business Services.

The partnership involves a sponsorship of up to 300 ACCA GBS Diploma by i2M Ventures to nurture talents in support of the growing GBS investment in Iskandar Puteri.

Signing the agreement on behalf of i2M Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad dedicated to investment promotion initiatives for the Global Business Services (GBS) sector in Iskandar Puteri was its Managing Director, Zulfiqar Zainuddin while ACCA was represented by Stephen Shields, Director of Strategic Partnerships.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Stephen Shields, Director of Strategic Partnerships, ACCA said, “We are delighted to partner i2M Ventures in the creation of specialised GBS talents via the successful completion of the ACCA GBS Diploma to meet the growing GBS industry in Malaysia as a whole and Iskandar Puteri in particular.”

“ACCA has long supported the GBS, shared services and outsourcing sectors through extensive research and insight programmes. Building on this knowledge, our GBS qualifications have been specifically tailored for the GBS sector and the first dedicated to finance and accounting. Our qualifications have been developed in consultation with over 50 major employers. They are designed to help your employees develop their technical skills, industry knowledge, business acumen and analytical capabilities as well as to support the GBS sector’s need for suitable talents, pipeline and upskilling of existing talents,” added Stephen.

The Global Business Services (GBS) sector in Malaysia is expected to grow between 10% and 15% over the next three years, with more companies strive to run their businesses more effectively and efficiently.

“With the GBS ISKANDAR initiative well positioned to attract more investors into Iskandar Puteri, it is timely for us to embark on a strategic partnership to develop the talent eco-system in Johor, particularly for GBS activities,” said Zulfiqar Zainuddin, Managing Director of i2M Ventures. “We placed strong emphasis on supporting the needs for high quality talent and filling up the gaps in talent employability for the GBS Industry here.”

To further support the talent development of GBS sector, i2M introduced the GBS ISKANDAR Campus Connect in April 2016, a collaboration between academia and the industry to produce graduates with professional skillsets. Today, the GBS ISKANDAR Campus Connect Program will include the ACCA GBS Qualification as one of the professional skillsets it will support.

To-date, GBS ISKANDAR has secured over 3,873 professional jobs within the sector while successfully attracting over RM1.7 billion (US$315 million) in committed investments with the latest addition being KPMG PLT, one of the big four professional services firm providing audit, tax and advisory services.

This development was made official with the exchange of documents between i2M and KPMG PLT, who was represented by Abdullah Abu Samah, the firm’s Head of Markets and Executive Committee member.

This ceremonial exchange, which was also held today, marked the setting up of KPMG PLT Southern Region office in Iskandar Puteri. KPMG PLT is the first accounting firm with a global network to set up office in Iskandar Puteri, where they will be serving local companies and multinational corporations in Johor.