NUSAJAYA: Several manufacturing companies from China have expressed their strong interest to set up their operations in Malaysia, especially in Johor.
The Johor Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (JACCCI) president Datuk Tan Seng Leong said they had expressed their intention during a meeting with them in Xiamen, China, recently.
He said the manufacturers were planning to relocate parts of their operations to Johor or set up a plant outside China in view of the escalating operating cost there.
“They are looking for large industrial areas between 1,214ha and 1,618ha and most of them have mentioned Iskandar Malaysia as their preferred location,” said Tan.
He said this after the signing of a memorandum of understanding between JACCCI and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI), represented by its president Thomas Chua Kee Seng.
The event was witnessed by Johor Tourism, Trade and Consumerism committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong and Singapore consul-general Ian Mak.
JACCCI has 20,000 members and 80% of them are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), while SCCCI has 4,000 corporate members, 154 trade associations and about 40,000 SMEs.
“Johor has the right ecosystem to attract the Chinese manufacturers to set up their operations and Iskandar Malaysia’s close proximity to Singapore is an added advantage,” said Tan.
He said JACCCI would work closely with the Johor State Investment Centre, the Iskandar Regional Development Authority and Iskandar Investment Bhd to facilitate the investments by the Chinese manufacturers.
Chua said about 200 SMEs from Singapore are already in Iskandar Malaysia and more are likely to relocate their operations due to the high cost of doing business in Singapore.
“Iskandar Malaysia is the logical choice for them due to its close proximity to Singapore and they have the best of both worlds,” he said.
Chua said JACCCI and SCCCI could closely explore business opportunities in other Asean countries when the Asean Economic Community kicks off next January.
Meanwhile, Tee said Johor had received RM493mil in investments in the manufacturing sector in the country in the first half of 2015, with 28 projects creating 1,804 job opportunities.