Iskandar Malaysia sets new investment target

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) chief executive Datuk Dr Badrul Hisham Kassim.

JOHOR BARU: Iskandar Malaysia has set a new cumulative investment target of RM636bil for 2030 after hitting its initial target almost three years ahead of time.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive Datuk Dr Badrul Hisham Kassim said since the inception of Iskandar Malaysia in 2006, the region has recorded a total cumulative investments of RM409.5bil as of September last year.

“The initial target was to achieve RM383bil by 2025, but we already surpassed the amount in February last year.

“The success of Iskandar Malaysia in achieving its investment target three years in advance shows that the region and Malaysia in general offer various competitive advantages that continue to attract investors’ interest and trust.

“A new target has been set to achieve RM636bil in cumulative investments in the next seven years. We believe this is possible through the Special Economic Zone and Special Financial Zone initiatives announced by the government recently,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Badrul Hisham added that domestic investments contributed 55% of the cumulative investments recorded so far, while the rest were foreign investments.

About 58% of the cumulative investments, to the tune of RM236.8bil, have been realised, he said.

Foreign investments came in at RM183.1bil with China being the biggest investor contributing RM61.8bil, followed by Singapore (RM45.8bil), the Netherlands (RM11.9bil), Japan (RM11.1bil) and the United States (RM9.5bil).

“For the 2023 financial year, Iskandar Malaysia recorded committed investments of RM33.6bil from January to September with RM11bil having been realised,” he said, adding that the main contributors were from the business services sector.

This includes investments in regional data centres amounting to RM22.4bil and the manufacturing sector with RM7.7bil.

He added last year, Irda completed and commenced the construction of several major infrastructure and facilities in the region such as the Kempas Interchange and Tunku Mahkota Ismail Youth Centre in Iskandar Puteri and Johor Baru.

In the past two years, Irda also implemented 17 programmes specifically to drive the post-Covid-19 socio-economic recovery.

“This has benefitted 6,400 people in the region as well as the state of Johor.

“Apart from assisting the vulnerable and lower-income groups with finding employment, we also focused on other agendas involving youths, entrepreneurs and climate action,” he said.

Irda recently launched the Comprehensive Development Plan Iskandar Malaysia 2022-2030, said Badrul Hisham, adding the plan was a new approach where it also took into account the increasingly complex growth and development challenges.

The plan has four focus areas which are high-value economy, productive society, climate resilience and carbon-neutral region, and integrated and liveable city, he said.

Badrul Hisham also noted the slight shift in Irda’s role moving forward.

“With the new development plan and targets set, there is also a slight shift in the main role that Irda will be playing towards achieving the region’s visions.

“Coupled with the Prime Minister’s announcement to empower the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) as the country’s main investment promotion agency, Irda will take on a more secondary role when it comes to promoting investment.

“We will play a more significant role in facilitating investment, especially through the Iskandar Malaysia Investment Service Centre.

“I believe the alignment of roles will provide clarity to the investors and further strengthen the synergy between the region and Mida,” he said.

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