JOHOR BARU: Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) is quite happy with the development taking place so far in Iskandar Malaysia but it is not resting on its laurels.
Although it had surpassed the investment target since the launch of Iskandar eight years ago, Irda is working even harder and putting in more efforts to continue attracting investments into South Johor.
“The key for Iskandar Malaysia now is to ensure its further growth and progress,’’ Irda chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said in an interview with StarBiz.
Iskandar Malaysia will take some 20 years to achieve its mission, but it has made significant achievements even in a short period of eight years. It is located in the southernmost part of Johor spanning 2,217 sq km – three times larger than Singapore and two times the size of Hong Kong.
Irda is the regulatory authority given the mandate to plan, promote and facilitate the development of Iskandar Malaysia into a strong and sustainable metropolis of international standing by 2025.
For the first phase (2006-2010), the investment target was RM47bil but it managed to secure RM70bil. It also exceeded the second phase (2011-2015) target of RM73bil, with investments of RM76.2bil as of June 2014.
Ismail said Iskandar Malaysia was already in the second phase of the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP2006-2025) with an objective on strengthening and generating growth.
He said the second phase was more challenging than the first, which revolved on planning and building foundations in the early days of Iskandar Malaysia.
As for committed investments from end-2006 to December 2014, Iskandar Malaysia targets to achieve RM157bil.
From 2006 until June 30, 2014, Iskandar Malaysia recorded total committed investments of RM146.20bil, of which RM69.53bil or 48% have been realised as projects on the ground.
Of the committed investments, RM94.16bil or 64% are domestic investments while RM52.04bil or 36% came from foreign investors.
“Moving forward, the most important agenda for us will be to ensure that the economic growth of Iskandar Malaysia is sustainable,’’ Ismail said.
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