PayPal has opened its first Southeast Asian operations centre in Malaysia, according to a report from Business Times.

The online payment giant, whose international headquarters is located in near-by Singapore, has confirmed that its plans to hire as it seeks to increase the initial 200 strong work force to a staff of 500 by the end of 2013.

The office will provide support for the company’s growing user base in Southeast Asia. Initially communications will be solely in English but there are plans to introduce support for local Asian languages to provide a higher level of service in the region.

The company, which also has an operations centre in Shanghai, China, is optimistic of the growth potential in Asia where it is revealed it is working to increase its presence in mobile e-commerce sector.

John McCabe, PayPal Senior VP of Global Operations, cited Malaysia’s talent pool as a key factor that selecting the country for its new premises.

People are the most important asset and we are making a significant investment here in terms of hiring local talent, and providing them extensive training to better serve our customers around the world.

PayPal’s move to Malaysia comes less than two months after BlackBerry maker RIM revealed its plans to base a manufacturing centre in the country, a decision which caused controversy in Indonesia where it enjoys a strong market presence.

PayPal joins Google as Malaysia’s most recent technology arrival after the search giant made a move to the country in January this year. The move is further evidence that Malaysia is fast becoming a popular choice for tech companies that, having already set up shop in Singapore, are actively looking to expand their regional footprint.