Fiscal incentives and more in the works for Forest City SFZ, says Johor MB

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The Finance Ministry is expected to announce incentive packages for the Forest City Special Financial Zone (SFZ) in the coming months, says Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi.

He said SFZ management had submitted a detailed implementation proposal in February following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s announcement to set up the zone in Forest City on Aug 25.

“The ministry then called for several meetings to look at the proposed incentives for the SFZ.

“The Prime Minister, who chaired an SFZ meeting at Forest City on April 18, announced that the tax incentives for the zone will be finalised by May,” Onn Hafiz told the state assembly at Kota Iskandar here on Monday (May 13).

He added that offering attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives such as corporate tax exemption, special income tax rates for talents and stamp duty exemption was crucial to attract investors into the SFZ.

To make the SFZ a success, benchmark studies have also been conducted at several international financial centres, said Onn Hafiz.

This includes New York, London and Singapore to look at their banking and financial services and Islamic financial centres like Dubai that offer Syariah-compliant banking services.

Besides that, fintech hubs in Silicon Valley and London were also studied to look at the innovative financial technologies that supported the financial sector, and the Shanghai SFZ which offers attractive incentives to investors in the sector.

He added that the two main focus sectors for the Forest City SFZ are the banking and financial services sector as well as mid-office and back-office support services.

“The Forest City SFZ is a high-potential initiative that will be beneficial to the people.

“I call upon the state assembly to band together and fend off negative perceptions and wild accusations from outsiders.

"If you need any clarification, just ask me or any of the state executive councillors,” he added.

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