Visitors at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre viewing a large model of the Danga Bay area in Johor’s Iskandar region. The Iskandar economic zone was launched in 2006 by Malaysia, with the aim of helping southern Johor tap Singapore’s wealth and fast economic growth. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
THE Iskandar Malaysia economic zone attracted RM7.98 billion (S$3 billion) in new investments in the first three months of this year, a 65 per cent jump from the same quarter last year, the zone's regulator said yesterday.
The first-quarter figure also compares with the RM1.8 billion in total new investments secured in the October to December period last year, said regulator Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) in a statement.
Total cumulative investments from 2006, the year that the southern economic zone was launched, to end-March this year stood at RM166.1 billion. Of this figure, 38 per cent of funds were committed by foreign investors.
Johor Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin said 47 per cent of the cumulative investments have been realised in projects on the ground, as at the end of March.
The Iskandar zone was set up by Malaysia's previous prime minister, Tun Abdullah Badawi, with the aim of helping southern Johor tap Singapore's wealth and fast economic growth.
In the statement yesterday, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled said: "We continue to see strong support from Singapore, China, the United States of America, Spain and Japan. "
"However, it is the domestic investments which truly reflect the confidence our local society has in the region's development."
IRDA did not break down the sectors that the investors were targeting in Iskandar in the quarterly data.
But it did give a sectoral breakdown of where the funds were channelled in the cumulative nine years.
A total of 31 per cent of the RM166.1 billion in cumulative investments were for the manufacturing sector, and 24 per cent for residential properties.
The third most popular sector, capturing 17 per cent of the investments, was retail properties, said IRDA.
This was followed by utilities projects at 8 per cent, industrial properties at 6 per cent and government infrastructure at 5 per cent.
The Straits Times/ Money Published on Thursday, 7 May 2015
By Reme Ahmad
Iskandar saw $3b in new investments in Q1