The Iskandar Malaysia 10th anniversary in November last year marked the second tipping point of the economic development region.
Iskandar Malaysia has surpassed its targets for the second phase of its development and in 2016 also entered its third development phase focusing on sustainability and innovation. The third wave of investments are expected to enhance the whole eco-system in Iskandar Malaysia as the spill-over effects will have higher impact to region’s economy.
Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) said Iskandar Malaysia recorded committed investments of RM5.27 billion for the first quarter of 2017, contributing to the total cumulative committed investment from 2006 to 31st March 2017 of RM227.67 billion.
“In this third phase, Iskandar Malaysia will focus on strengthening its soft and hard infrastructure with state-of-the-art facilities provided to the investors whilst at the same time benefitting the Rakyat,” said Ismail at the conclusion of IRDA’s 21st Meeting of its Members of Authority (MoA).
As the region’s growth progresses, it will continue to attract more population and visitors working and living in Iskandar Malaysia, and mobility is another area that needs emphasis. In line with this, the public transportation system for this region will be enhanced by providing efficient and accessible public transport. Iskandar Malaysia will embark on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to accommodate the targeted increase in population of up to 3.0 million by 2025. The first phase of BRT will be ready by 2020.
Another important infrastructure enabler is connectivity and this will also be the focus in the third development phase as Iskandar Malaysia needs a smart ICT infrastructure to remain attractive to new and existing investors whilst at the same time providing convenience to the people of Iskandar Malaysia in as many ways possible.
Iskandar Malaysia is also poised to be the preferred regional logistics hub. Port of Iskandar Malaysia is one of the 5 Big Moves of Iskandar Malaysia Comprehensive Development Plan 2014 – 2025 (CDPii). IRDA envisions to position Iskandar Malaysia as a world-class dynamic logistics and maritime hub in ASEAN and Asia-Pacific.
Besides infrastructure, efforts in sustaining urban development are seen through youth empowerment and currently, this has been implemented via Johor International Youth Hub (HAB). The HAB is an initiative that involves the youth of Johor in the whole process of conceptualising, planning, designing, building, managing and eventually sustaining it. This has resulted in greater sense of ownership and belonging amongst the youth for the project.
Ismail added that Iskandar Malaysia after the first ten years and moving into its next ten years is not only about attracting new investments; the investments must be inclusive in order for the local communities, businesses and talents to participate and reap benefits from the wealth generated from economic activities. With all these elements in place, the region will, in no time, achieve its vision of becoming a Strong and Sustainable Metropolis of International Standing.