GDS Holdings in talks for Johor expansion

Johor investment, trade and consumer affairs committee chairman Lee Ting Han

KULAI: Fresh off its RM1.38bil investment in Johor, Hong Kong-listed data management company GDS Holdings Ltd is already in talks for an expansion.

Johor investment, trade and consumer affairs committee chairman Lee Ting Han said the state government, led by Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, had met with the company’s representatives on Monday.

“GDS, a leading developer and operator of high performance data centres in China, has expressed its desire to further invest in Johor.

“About five months ago, they poured close to RM1.4bil to set up a hyperscale data centre campus at Nusajaya Tech Park, Iskandar Puteri, which had broken ground and is ongoing.“We are currently facilitating them with their next move and hopefully concrete plans can be announced next year,” he said at the official launch of AME Elite Consortium Bhd’s i-TechValley at SILC Phase 3 in Senai.

Lee added that the state government is also in talks with two United States-based medical and pharmaceutical companies where it hopes to secure the investments by early next year, if not the end of this year.

He noted that a separate US-based pharmaceutical company has already confirmed the booking of approximately 2.43ha or 24,359.17 sq metres of land within i-TechValley to set up their first facility in South-East Asia.

“This company is a renowned international leader in the design and technical support of advanced film coating systems, modified release technologies and functional excipients for pharmaceutical solid dosage forms.

“It has 11 manufacturing facilities and 22 technical services laboratories across the globe and I am delighted it will soon call i-TechValley at SiLC Phase 3 here its home,” he said.

Lee said in June, a groundbreaking ceremony of another investor Insulet Corp – a Nasdaq-listed medical device giant – was held in Gelang Patah.

“Within Gelang Patah, two other multinational companies from the similar field are already in operations and this will eventually turn southern Johor into an attractive destination for medical and pharmaceutical companies due to the established supply chain.

“With these significant investments and more to come, I understand that AME intends to designate a dedicated pharmaceutical and medical hub within i-TechValley.

“This is also in line with the state government’s plans to develop industry clusters in Johor - including the medical and pharmaceutical industry cluster – so as to achieve economies of scale and increase spillovers,” he added.

In similar developments, Lee said the Johor Investment committee has been reactivated following its meeting involving both state and federal investment and promotion agencies.

The meeting, chaired by Onn Hafiz, was the first one to be held since 2017.

“The committee plans to meet quarterly to keep track of every major project in the state and assist in any issues that may arise.

“Through our previous meetings with investors, we understand that what they want is to feel the presence of the government and accessibility to the government agencies that can quickly assist and facilitate their issues,” he said.

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