ISKANDAR Malaysia will benefit from the RM2bil fund allocated under Budget 2022 to attract strategic foreign investments by multinational corporations (MNCs).
Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said, in a statement, that it would help create knowledge-based jobs as well as provide development opportunities for local small and medium enterprises.
Ismail said the opening of the RM10mil one-stop centre in Johor Baru next year for the arrival of short-term business travellers from Singapore was a step in the right direction.
“The centre will complement efforts taken by stakeholders to further strengthen Johor’s position as the preferred investment destination in the country,” he said.
Ismail said the RM690mil allocated for the five economic growth corridors — which included Iskandar Malaysia and comprised six new and 66 extension projects — was welcomed.
The other corridors are Northern Economic Region, East Coast Economic Region, Sabah Development Corridor and Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.
He said the allocation of RM4.8bil to ensure the provision of 600,000 job opportunities under the JaminKerja initiative would benefit new jobseekers as well as those who lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ismail said the Iskandar Malaysia Employment Grant in the form of a matching grant had created 1,811 job opportunities in 252 companies, comprising 35% in the service and 65% in the manufacturing sectors, respectively.
“Seventy per cent of them were filled by women and it also benefited people with disabilities, retirees, unemployed graduates as well as retrenched workers.”
Ismail said the government made the right decision to continue the Cooperative Economic Transformation Programme with an allocation of RM10mil to rehabilitate affected cooperative activities, apart from the additional RM30mil for the Cooperative Economic Recovery Intervention Financing Programme and the provision of food truck business sites in major urban areas to be implemented through the Malaysian Cooperative Commission.
“We also help village cooperatives in Iskandar Malaysia, especially those involved in ecotourism,’’ he said. — By ZAZALI MUSA