State to set up tourism, cultural office in S’pore

Hasni says the RTS and Gemas-Johor Baru rail projects will have positive impact on the state.

THE Johor Economic, Tourism and Cultural Office (Jetco) in Singapore will be open by the first quarter of next year, says Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad.

He believed the office could be a catalyst for efforts to intensify economic activities between Johor and Singapore, as well as to strengthen cultural and tourism ties.

“Activities and engagements with public and private stakeholders will be intensified with the opening of Jetco’s physical office in Singapore next year,” he added.

Hasni said this in his reply to Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kota Iskandar), Dr Sulaiman Mohd Nor (PH-Kemelah) and Tan Chen Choon (PH-Jementah) who asked about the steps taken by the government in reviving Johor’s economy during the state assembly sitting at Bangunan Sultan Ismail in Kota Iskandar, Johor Baru.

Jetco Singapore is part of the announced seven state initiatives called Tujuh Ikhtiar Makmur Johor to help raise investors’ confidence in Johor.

The others included the establishment of Ibrahim Johor Economic Council (IJEC), Johor Digital Masterplan, Singapore-Johor-Riau Growth Triangle Development (SIJO-Kepri), the New Economic Alignment, Johor Food Bank and the Johor Sustainable Development Plan 2019-2030.

Hasni said although the construction of the Johor Baru-Singapore High Speed Rail had been called off, the state could still enjoy economic benefits from the Johor Rapid Transit System (RTS) and the Gemas-Johor Baru electrified double-tracking rail project.

“These two mega projects would have a positive impact on Johor in various economic sectors,” he added.

Hasni also defended IJEC’s recommendation to use the services of investment consultants as it was part of the state government’s efforts to attract investors to Johor.

“Appointing an investment consultant does not mean setting aside or being seen as a weakness to investment efforts by Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) and the International Trade and Industry Ministry.

“This is part of our own efforts to attract investment to the state.

“We cannot solely rely on the existing system to attract investments as Johor has its strengths and should appoint investment consultants who focus on investors from China and the Middle East,” he added.

These investment consultants, he said, were experts in dealing with investors as the methods had changed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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