Have facilities in place to attract foreign investors, Johor told

Johor is strategically located and its close proximity to Singapore gives it top priority position to attract investors.

JOHOR BARU: Johor is likely to benefit from the United States investments in the country which are on the rise as the state has the right ecosystem to continue attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).

Johor South SME adviser Teh Kee Sin hoped the state government would act fast and put in more efforts to attract more investments from the United States.

“Johor is strategically located and its close proximity to Singapore gives it top priority position, ’’ he said.

Teh said many multinational corporations (MNCs) were keen to set up core operations such as factories, warehouses and data centres (Microsoft) in Johor while maintaining their sales regional office in Singapore.

He said since Malaysia’s industrialisation in the 1980s, the United States used to be one of its giant FDI. However, over the last 10 years, this status has been taken over by Japan, Singapore and lately by China.

“We welcome more US companies back to Malaysia in view of the weakening investments by the Japanese and European Union firms due to their domestic challenges, ’’ said Teh.

He said in view of this, both the federal and Johor governments must develop the state’s infrastructure, including highway interchanges.Teh said traffic congestion in Johor Baru was becoming worse and urgently required a sustainable plan for new highway expansion projects and a sound public transport system.

“We need to improve connectivity and accessibility between the Johor Causeway and Woodlands in Singapore which will benefit both Johor and Singapore, ’’ added Teh.

He said the Government should increase the Tebrau Shuttle train service which runs between JB Sentral and Woodlands in Singapore from 31 daily to 36 a day to ease congestion at the Causeway.

“We also hope the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit Link (RTS) project will proceed despite delays as it is more viable and will benefit Johor and Singapore, ’’ said Teh.

He said apart from easing congestion at the Johor Causeway and the Second Link Crossing in Tanjung Kupang, Gelang Patah, there was also a need to improve and upgrade Internet connectivity in the state.“Seamless connectivity is vital for Johor to attract more high-tech investments, apart from uninterrupted water and power supply.

“We cannot risk losing investors to other countries in the region, ” said Teh.

A survey by the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) on American electrical and electronics companies based in Malaysia found that 76% of the companies intend to invest further in the country over the next five years.

The 12th edition of the Malaysian American Electronics Industry Economic Impact Survey, conducted on 37 of Amcham’s members, also found that more than two thirds, or 68%, of the surveyed companies were expecting their businesses to expand in the coming years.

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