KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — The Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ) is vital for driving both participants’ competitiveness and technological innovation, said the Malaysia-Singapore Business Council (MSBC).

After the council’s 25th joint meeting yesterday, YCH Group executive chairman Robert Yap and Tan Sri Nik Norzrul Thani of Zaid Ibrahim & Co who co-chaired the event stressed the importance of the SEZ for Malaysia and Singapore.

“The Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone will strengthen collaboration and drive sustainable growth between our countries. We are confident that this initiative will boost regional competitiveness, create high-quality jobs, and enhance innovation.

“By leveraging our combined strengths and fostering cross-border synergies, we will build a resilient economic landscape benefiting businesses and communities, paving the way for a prosperous and interconnected future,” he said in a statement today.

Discussions at the meeting centred on advancing mutual interests and exploring new opportunities through the development of the JS-SEZ as well as addressing challenges in the global economy.

Yesterday, Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said the Malaysian government is aiming to conclude negotiations with Singapore on the JS-SEZ by September, calling the project a “game-changer” for bilateral ties between the two countries.

The JS-SEZ will be located in Malaysia’s Iskandar region, and could cover an area of over 3,000km sq km, four times the size of Singapore.

The Malaysian government is promoting the zone as an investment magnet to boost sectors like electronics, health care and ancillary services for finance and business.