JOHOR BARU: Johor is to attract more capital-intensive and high-technology investments in its bid to become the nation’s economic powerhouse.
Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the state could no longer depend on labour-intensive manufacturing activities if it wanted to become an economic powerhouse in the country.
He said Johor had the right eco-system to attract capital-intensive and high-technology investments and this include its strategic location at the crossroad of international trading route.
“We’ve already established ourselves as the electronics and electrical manufacturing hub in the southern region (of Peninsular Malaysia) and we need to bring it to the next level,’’ Mohamed Khaled said.
He was speaking to reporters at the launch of Frontier Industrial Park in Desa Cemerlang, Ulu Tiram.
The project, developed by WB Land Sdn Bhd on 55ha, has a gross development value of RM600mil.
Mohamed Khaled said apart from the strategic location, Johor’s close proximity with Singapore was another advantage to attract investors, in view of the republic’s position as an international trade and financial centre.
“We also have good infrastructure, road network system, two seaports and an airport for manufacturers to export their products,’’ he said.
Mohamed Khaled said that over the years, Johor remained one of the top five investment destinations in the country in the manufacturing sector.
He said statistics from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) showed that Johor recorded the highest investment in the manufacturing sector in 2013, with RM14.4bil of which RM11bil were foreign director investment.
“In the first quarter of this year, MIDA had approved RM1.3bil manufacturing projects creating 2,000 new jobs in the state,’’ he said.
He said Iskandar Malaysia was another factor that would help develop and position Johor as the economic powerhouse in the country.
Mohamed Khaled, who is co-chairman of Iskandar Regional Development Authority, said that from 2006 until June 30, Iskandar Malaysia had received a total cumulative committed investment of RM146.20bil.
“We are also receiving a new investment of about RM6bil from a world-class company this year and we will reveal the details when the time is right,’’ he said.
He said the Johor Strategic Growth Plan would be launched in November focusing on five key economic sectors to further accelerate developments in the state.