Green city development a focus in Malaysia's IM-GT chairmanship, says PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): At least 12 Green City Action Plans (GCAPs) will be developed for cities in Malaysia who come under the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) growth triangle, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Prime Minister said that the the GCAPs developed under the 12th Malaysia Plan will be one of the three key initiatives under Malaysia’s chairmanship of IMT-GT.

When chairing the 13th IMT-GT Summit on Thursday (Oct 28), he said the GCAPs come under the initiative of mainstreaming sustainable urban development throughout member cities and across the expanded economic corridors.

The other two initiatives are enhancing the institutional pillars of IMT-GT, namely the Joint Business Council (JBC); and reinforcing long-standing partnerships with the Asean Secretariat and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

"We will be working closely with the ADB and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) in developing the GCAPs. The goal is to forge a sustainable path for IMT-GT,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said Malaysia is agreeable to adopt Economic Corridor 6 and the five reconfigured economic corridors as recommended by the ADB, and welcomed the proposal to expand the geographical coverage of IMT-GT to include the whole of Peninsular Malaysia.

"In this regard, I would like to welcome Johor, Terengganu and Pahang as the new members of IMT-GT cooperation,” he said.

Acknowledging the private sector as the engine of growth of IMT-GT, Ismail Sabri stated that the second initiative is to enhance the institutional pillars of IMT-GT, namely the JBC.

He said the JBC Malaysia has been legally registered as directed by the 11th IMT-GT Summit in 2018, with immediate top priority is to strengthen the council starting with restructuring its governance and management structures and enhancing its project delivery capability.

"We will mobilise the JBC to increase private investment in climate action, promote green production practices and harness the skills and knowledge of private entities to accelerate the implementation of the SUDF (Sustainable Urban Development Framework (SUDF),” he said.

On the third initiative, Ismail Sabri said having the right partnership will go a long way in optimising the impact of Implementation Blueprint (IB 2022-2026).

Moving forward, he requested that the ADB create a Subregional Special Project Development Fund for IMT-GT, to assist in developing more bankable projects, which subsequently can be funded through ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF), Ocean Financing Initiatives and other appropriate financing mechanisms.

"I would also like to request ADB to support in facilitating the inflow of multilateral funds and investments into IMT-GT. I urge ADB to support IMT-GT to organize its investment forums and to attract more Foreign Direct Investment and Domestic Direct Investment into the subregion,” he said.

Ismail Sabri also requested the Asean Secretariat to help IMT-GT to link up with ASEAN Dialogue Partners and other external partners.

As the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will be a new market and source of FDI for IMT-GT, he hopes the ASEAN Secretariat would facilitate IMT-GT’s partnership building process with members and networks of RCEP.

"Second, to deepen the collaboration between the ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Strategy (ASUS) and IMT-GT SUDF, including having more IMT-GT cities as pilot cities under ASUS,” he said.

Chaired by Malaysia, the13th IMT-GT Summit was attended by member countries as well as ADB and Centre for IMT. It was held at the sidelines of the three-day virtual 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits which began Tuesday under the chairmanship of Brunei. - Bernama

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