JOHOR BARU: Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) is confident of achieving the RM383bil investments by 2025 as targeted under its comprehensive development plan.
Irda chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said this was based on the investment flows into Iskandar Malaysia since its inception on Nov 4, 2006.
The country’s first economic growth corridor had attracted RM263.95bil in committed accumulated investment from 2006 until June 30, 2018.
“From the total figure, RM154.14bil or 58% have been realised,” Ismail told reporters at the launch of Iskandar Malaysia employment fair 2018 by the state Consumerism, Human Resources and Unity Committee chairman Dr S. Ramakrishnan on Saturday.
Of the RM263.95bil figure, RM161bil or 61% were from domestic investors while foreign investors contributed to RM102.9bil or 39%.
Ismail said interest from both domestic and foreign investors on Iskandar Malaysia remained strong over the years despite challenges in the global economic growth and environment.
“China, Singapore, the United States, Japan and Spain are the top five foreign investors in Iskandar Malaysia from 2006 to June this year” he said.
Statistics showed China companies had invested RM36.4bil followed by Singapore with RM21.98bil, the United States (RM6.87bil), Japan (RM4.41bil) and Spain with RM4.18bil.
He said manufacturing led the nine promoted sectors in attracting investments in Iskandar Malaysia with RM62.74bil, tourism (RM7.12bil), logistics (RM6.69bil), healthcare (RM4.41bil), education (RM2.76bil), finance (RM2.09bil) and creative (RM590mil).
Other sectors were mixed property development projects with RM81.18bil, residential properties (RM48.86bil), industrial properties (RM20.92bil), utilities (RM12.97bil), government (RM10.67bil) and emerging technologies with RM2.94bil.
“All stakeholders in Iskandar Malaysia need to work together with concerted and continuous efforts to attract investors and make Iskandar Malaysia attractive to them,” he said.
Asked whether Iskandar Malaysia would have a challenging task to attract foreign investors following the foreign ownership issue of the multi-billion ringgit Forest City development project in Gelang Patah, he said it was always challenging for Irda to attract investors.
“It is never easy to attract investors to Iskandar Malaysia but we have proven that over the last 12 years we are able to attract them.”
Ismail said the influx of domestic and foreign investors to Iskandar Malaysia have created many job opportunities.
Some 746,457 jobs were created in the nine promoted sectors and had benefitted not only Johoreans but also locals from other states looking for employment opportunities in south Johor.
The wage disparity between the Klang Valley and Iskandar Malaysia has narrowed from 14% prior to the inception of Iskandar Malaysia on Nov 4, 2006 to 5% now for same task performed.
Located in southern Johor, Iskandar Malaysia spans 2,217 sq km and is three times bigger than Singapore and two times the size of Hong Kong.
It is divided into five flagship development zones – the Johor Baru City Centre, Iskandar Puteri, Eastern Gate Development Zone, Western Gate Development Zone and Senai-Kulai.
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