Johor set to be major player in drone, robotics sectors with new zone

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad.— THOMAS YONG/The Star

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor is set to become a major player in the drone and robotics sectors with the first specific zone in South-East Asia.

Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad (pic) said the Drone and Robotic Zone (DRZ) Iskandar was a collaboration between Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB), together with global logistics company DHL and Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC).

"Johor needs an integrated digital ecosystem to further boost our digital economy to the next level, especially in the South-East Asia region.

“In line with the Johor Digital Masterplan to transform Johor into a smart state and accelerate its digital economy, the launch of DRZ Iskandar brings us one step closer in creating a digital hub in Iskandar Malaysia, as announced recently in the state Budget 2021, ” he added.

He stressed that the DRZ was projected to bring in over RM351mil of investments and generate 1,000 high-value jobs by 2025 in drone and robotics.

Hasni said this in his speech virtually during the official launch of DRZ Iskandar on Tuesday (Dec 8).

Also present at the event virtually was Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Meanwhile, Khairy said that DRZ Iskandar was timely with Asia and North America the largest drone markets currently.

He added that according to the 2020 industry report produced by Drone Industry Insights, Asia was expected to experience growth from US$8.6bil (RM34.9bil) in 2020 to US$17.9bil (RM72.8bil) in 2025 in revenue.

“As for robotics, Asia Pacific accounts for 54% of the global market, and is the leading market for robotics. This is set to double in five years with the increasing global demand for automation in various industries.

“According to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2020 (GSER2020), Malaysia was ranked in the Top 10 of Emerging Ecosystems in Performance, and in the Top 20 for Emerging Ecosystems in Talent with an ecosystem valuation of US$15.3bil (RM63.5bil), ” he added.

He also said that Malaysia retains its 35th position out of 129 countries in the Global Innovation Index 2019 and remains among the middle-income economies that were bridging the innovation divide.

“I am confident that with these indicators, coupled with our strategic location, ready infrastructure and a growing community of drone and robotics enthusiasts, Malaysia is set to become the drone and robotics hub of South-East Asia, ” he added.

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