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