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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Iskandar to hold more roadshows in Singapore

Arlida Ariff meeting participants at the Iskandar Malaysia Forum 2010.

Iskandar targets investments in tourism, leisure, services and property sectors

SINGAPORE: Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB) will hold more roadshows in Singapore within the next six months to attract more investors to Iskandar Malaysia.

President and chief executive officer Arlida Ariff said IIB wanted to attract more Singaporeans – who were already making inroads in Iskandar in the education and the health sectors – to the tourism, leisure, services and property sectors.

“There seems to be renewed interest from investors in the republic in Iskandar following the economic recovery both in Singapore and Malaysia,” she told journalists yesterday after presenting a keynote address in the Iskandar Malaysia Forum 2010 jointly organised by IIB and the Institute of South-East Asian Studies.

Arlida said Singapore was one of Iskandar’s top investors with its private companies holding more than RM2.64bil worth of investments in the manufacturing sector.

In fact, long before Iskandar was launched on Nov 4, 2006, Singaporeans already formed a large group of foreign property buyers in Johor and had regarded the state as their second home, she said.

Now, more Singaporean property buyers were attracted to Johor’s real estates, especially with the upcoming business and lifestyle developments that were due to be completed in Iskandar, she said, adding that Singapore investors would normally give their first preference to invest in Malaysia, particularly in Johor, before looking at other areas in the region.

“This is due to the close proximity between Singapore and Johor and historically both countries have been interdependent on each other economically.”

Arlida said the forum was a good platform for potential investors from Singapore to get a first-hand information from IIB on the opportunities in Iskandar and the development taking place in Malaysia’s first economic growth corridor.

She said many participants at the forum wanted to know whether Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was committed to continuing the development in Iskandar as the corridor was the brainchild of his predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

She said stakeholders of Iskandar – the Federal and Johor Governments and the Iskandar Regional Development Authority – and IIB had assured investors that the policies remained unchanged despite the change in leadership.

By The Star

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