In­creased Iskan­dar role as EU firms’ gate­way to S-E Asia

New Straits Times - - Business -

JO­HOR BARU: Iskan­dar Malaysia is in­creas­ingly be­com­ing a vi­tal plat­form for Euro­pean Union (EU) in­vestors to en­ter the South­east Asian mar­ket.

Iskan­dar Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (Irda) chief ex­ec­u­tive Datuk Is­mail Ibrahim said EU in­vestors, who had in­vested RM13.67 bil­lion in Iskan­dar Malaysia, were at­tracted to the strate­gic lo­ca­tion and mega in­fra­struc­ture projects in the eco­nomic re­gion.

He said they were keen to en­ter the Asean mar­ket with a pop­u­la­tion of about 650 mil­lion and wanted to do so via Iskan­dar Malaysia.

“With what has been built in Iskan­dar Malaysia, espe­cially the in­fra­struc­ture and good com­mu­ni­ca­tion and con­nec­tiv­ity, we be­lieve there will be more com­pa­nies from the EU com­ing in.

“There are good prospects for in­vestors in the fields of medicine, education, lo­gis­tics and tourism in Iskan­dar Malaysia,” said Is­mail af­ter a round­table dis­cus­sion with an 11mem­ber del­e­ga­tion from the EU led by its am­bas­sador to Malaysia, Maria Castillo-Fer­nan­dez, here, yes­ter­day.

The del­e­ga­tion in­cluded the am­bas­sadors of 11 EU coun­tries.

It is ex­pected to have an au­di­ence with the Sul­tan of Jo­hor, Sul­tan Ibrahim Sul­tan Iskan­dar, and a meet­ing with Men­teri Be­sar Datuk Seri Mo­hamed Khaled Nordin.

The del­e­gates will also visit key de­vel­op­ment projects, in­clud­ing the Port of Tan­jung Pelepas ter­mi­nal and the Pengerang In­te­grated Pe­tro­leum Com­plex.

Castillo-Fer­nan­dez said in­vestors from Ger­many, Spain, France and the Netherlands were among the coun­tries that had pres­ence in south Jo­hor.

Up to March this year, in­vest­ments from EU coun­tries in Iskan­dar Malaysia to­talled RM13.67 bil­lion with Spain be­ing the big­gest in­vestor (RM4.18 bil­lion), fol­lowed by Ger­many (RM2.77 bil­lion).

She said up­com­ing projects like the high speed rail would of­fer an­other op­por­tu­nity for com­pa­nies from the EU to in­vest in the eco­nomic re­gion. Rizal­man Ham­mim

Iskan­dar Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity chief ex­ec­u­tive Datuk Is­mail Ibrahim (fifth from left) and Euro­pean Union (EU) am­bas­sador to Malaysia Maria Castillo-Fer­nan­dez (sixth from left) with the EU del­e­ga­tion af­ter a round­table dis­cus­sion in Jo­hor Baru yes­ter­day.

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