Iskandar gets RM95bil pledges


  • Business
  • Tuesday, 16 Aug 2011

JOHOR BARU: Iskandar Malaysia attracted about RM95bil in committed investments from January to June 2011, according to Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive officer Ismail Ibrahim.

This was more than double the cumulative RM47bil target for the five years up to 2010. From 2011 to 2015, Iskandar Malaysia is targeted to achieve RM73bil in investments.

“More good news (on investments) are coming to Iskandar but let Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak or Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman do the appropriate announcements,” Ismail added.

Iskandar will be focusing on potential investors from Asean, China, India, Japan and South Korea apart from Europe and the Middle East which were the main targets during its inception.

In line with the aspirations for a high-income economy, Iskandar would focus on acquiring quality investments.

Ismail expected more Singaporeans to invest in Iskandar as the small and medium enterprises were planning to relocate their operations due to the high cost of doing business in the republic.

Among the economic clusters under the comprehensive development plan are electrical and electronics, petrochemical and oleochemical, food and agro-processing, logistic and related services, tourism, health services, educational services, financial services, ICT and creative industries.

Ismail said Irda would conduct a study on the multiplier effect of major tourism-related projects such as the Johor Premium Outlet (JPO) and Legoland Theme Park.

The JPO, to open in November, is expected to receive four million visitors in its first year while one million visitors are expected to visit Legoland which will start operations by end-2012.

Irda has spent about RM339mil in the first half of the year from RM945mil in 2011 on infrastructure projects and related activities. The projects include the construction of the New Coastal Highway linking Johor Baru city centre to Nusajaya, river cleaning jobs, roads upgrading and public housing.

Ismail said RM214mil would be disbursed in the second half of 2011, bringing total spending to RM553mil.

He dismissed allegations that Irda did not have enough money to undertake infrastructure projects in Iskandar Malaysia.

“This has been going on even when Irda was helmed by the previous two CEOs. It will not stop but I know, my conscience is clear.” he said.

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