Wong: Consistent policies key to success of Johor-S’pore SEZ

PUTRAJAYA: Expressing excitement over the potential of the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone, Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said both sides have what it takes to make it successful.

Wong described the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link as a major game changer that could tap into the complementarities between Malaysia, in particular Johor and Singapore.

“We harp a lot on the competition (between the two countries), but really, we complement one another. The bigger competition is outside Singapore and Malaysia.

“So if we can press forward with good master planning and clear and consistent policies around the SEZ, it will unlock a lot of economic benefits for both sides and our people. We can realise the potential of the collaboration,” he said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Malaysia and Singapore signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in January on the Johor-Singapore SEZ, which aims to boost cross-border economic connectivity.

Under the MOU, both sides will work towards boosting the cross-border flow of goods and people and developing a framework that will lead to a full-fledged agreement on the zone.

Wong said Singapore valued its bilateral relationship with Malaysia and would continue to pursue win-win cooperation with her neighbour.

“There are promising projects that we are pursuing together; in particular, I look forward to the SEZ and the Johor Baru-Singapore RTS link.

“Both projects will increase the cross-border flow of people, goods and investments, will bring our two countries closer together, and will ultimately benefit Malaysians and Singaporeans,” he said.

He noted that in a world that was becoming more dangerous, more unpredictable, and more troubled, both countries must redouble efforts to work closely together and work in a pragmatic fashion to achieve positive outcomes for both sides.

“We are two countries with enduring ties in culture, kinship and history. We are committed to forging a more inclusive society, good governance and social harmony.

“While issues may arise from time to time, as is bound to happen between close friends and neighbours, Prime Minister Anwar and I are committed to tackling them constructively while keeping the overall relationship positive and forward-looking,” Wong said.

He said relations between the two countries were in good shape and progressing well, and there was potential for both countries to do more moving forward.

“We want it to extend beyond leadership. We want to send a strong message about the need for both sides to continue to interact and work together, discuss (issues) in the right spirit, and find ways to resolve outstanding issues.

“More importantly, we should identify new areas of cooperation that can bring our two countries together,” he said.

“I believe there is a lot of potential for Malaysia and Singapore to provide a strong anchor for a more dynamic and competitive South-East Asian region.”

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