‘Promote growth triangle as halal hub’

  • Metro News
  • Friday, 28 Jun 2019

JOHOR BARU: Johor should work closely with Singapore and Indonesia in promoting and developing the Singapore-Johor-Riau (SIJORI) growth triangle as the leading halal hub.

Johor South SME adviser Teh Kee Sin said the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) could play a more active role in attracting more investors to Johor’s halal sector.

He said Irda has proven its ability to attract investments into Iskandar Malaysia, the country’s first economic growth corridor, since its inception on Nov 4, 2006.

Based on Irda’s statistics, Iskandar Malaysia received RM293bil in total cumulative investments from 2006 until March this year, with 56% or RM166bil investments already implemented.

“SIJORI is well positioned to emerge not only as a regional but also a global halal hub as it is located along the world’s busiest international trade route,” said Teh.

He said instead of competing with Singapore, Johor should bank on the republic’s position as an international trade and financial centre to attract companies, including those involved in halal-related activities or operations.

“Johor-based SMEs, on the other hand, could use SIJORI as a platform to penetrate the huge halal Indonesian market,” added Teh.

Johor Consumer Movement Association chairman Md Salleh Sadijo said the state government should also work closely with the Federal Government to promote its halal sector.

“Johor has the right ecosystem to attract more companies from the halal sector to set up their operations in the state,” he said.

Md Salleh said Johor was well positioned to play a pivotal role in supporting the increasing demand for halal products in the global market.

At the same time, he said Johor, Singapore and Indonesia could complement instead of competing with each other in developing and positioning SIJORI as a global halal hub,” he said.

He said a good network between the three countries would benefit all, adding that the global halal industry was estimated to be worth about RM9.56 trillion (excluding Islamic finance).

SIJORI was launched in December 1898 and is a tripartite agreement between Singapore, Johor (in Malaysia) and Riau (in Indonesia) that seeks to utilise the competitive strengths of the three areas and make the sub-region attractive to regional and international investors.

The growth triangle links logistics, transportation and financial facilities of Singapore with natural and labour resources of Johor and Riau.

The development of the growth triangle is largely led by the private sector, with the government facilitating the flow of goods, services, investment and people.

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