Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) announced that Iskandar Malaysia had recorded total cumulative committed investments of RM237.36 billion from 2006 until 30th June 2017. Of this total, 55% or RM130.55 billion represent investments that have been realised.
To date, local investors had contributed RM143 billion (60%) to the total cumulative committed investments while the balance RM94 billion (40%) were contributed by foreign investors.
Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive of IRDA said that this reflects continuous investor confidence in Iskandar Malaysia as it moves towards its long-term development objectives.
From 2006 until June 2017, the Services Sector namely Tourism, Education, Finance, Healthcare, Creative and Logistics recorded a total of RM22.40 billion which includes Emerging Technology.
“For this quarter, Logistics continues to lead the services sector with total investments of RM6.70 billion, followed by Tourism with total investments of RM4.69 billion and Healthcare with total investments of RM3.29 billion.
“The services sector has contributed 10% to the Iskandar Malaysia total investment since 2008 until 2017. The services sector also reported 17% growth from 2015 to 2016. The Creative, Healthcare, Financial Services and Logistics sector will continue to be the focus areas for new investments this year,” said Datuk Ismail.
IRDA envisions to position Iskandar Malaysia as a world-class dynamic logistics and maritime hub in ASEAN and Asia-Pacific.
Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector has recorded RM59.26 billion investments since 2006 until June 2016. The manufacturing sector has also created 129,000 job opportunities from 2006 until December 2016. (source: MIDA 2016)
Talent and Entrepreneurship
About 717,547 jobs have been created since 2007 in various since the inception of Iskandar Malaysia.
According to Datuk Ismail, 15% of these jobs involved skilled workers and professionals, while 16% were for semi-skilled workers. In addition to employment opportunities, Iskandar Malaysia also benefitted the people of Johor and Malaysia through the various business opportunities for entrepreneurs and SMEs.
Recently, IRDA announced a total of RM20 million allocation for the Iskandar Malaysia Professional Fund (IMProF) and RM15 million for the Bumiputera Entrepreneur Development Fund (DPUB). These initiatives are to help talents enhance their skills and for entrepreneurs to grow and expand their businesses.
“Over the next few years, we want to increase the percentage of jobs offered in the professional and skilled worker to 45% and we believe this is achievable with greater collaboration amongst industry players with support from the government,” he added.
Connectivity and Mobility
The public transportation system for this region will be enhanced and IRDA together with the relevant federal, state and local government authorities 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.
For network connectivity, Iskandar Malaysia will experience improved high speed broadband services at lower cost in the near future through the Iskandar Malaysia Integrated Information-Communication Infrastructure (IM3i) project. The project will be executed by a newly-formed Special Purpose Vehicle, IM3i Sdn Bhd and is targeted for full implementation by 2019. This is an initiative between IRDA, the state government and private sector.
Efforts in sustaining urban development is seen through youth empowerment and currently, this has been implemented via the 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.
Datuk Ismail added that Iskandar Malaysia continues its emphasis on sustainable development encompassing the economic, social and environmental aspects; whilst playing its role in contributing to the achievement of a high-income and developed nation which are in line with the objectives set in the 11th Malaysia Plan.