KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — The Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ) can be a platform to position Malaysia as a competitor to shift the focus of investments to Johor and Singapore from Vietnam previously, said Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli.

He said JS-SEZ is very attractive for international companies that want to find a way to deal with their geopolitical risks and obtain a foothold in Southeast Asia.

"The JS-SEZ is not only focused on companies from Singapore but the greater potential is for companies from all over the world to come to Johor 'as they can have the best of both worlds'.

“They can have the sophistication of Singapore, yet they can leverage the resource and cost advantages of Johor.

"Previously, the destination that was the focus of these companies was Vietnam. So with the existence of JS-SEZ, we can position Malaysia as a competitor to divert investments that previously went to Vietnam to enter Johor and Singapore," he said during an information session on JS-SEZ at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Thus, Rafizi said JS-SEZ's focus is on sectors that are in line with the government's current policies that are high-value and technological as outlined through the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR), the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030), and the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

The JS-SEZ location will cover the entire area of ​​Iskandar Malaysia including the area under the administration of the Pengerang Municipal Council of ​​3,505 square kilometres.

JS-SEZ will include six local authority areas in Johor such as the Iskandar Puteri City Council, Johor Bahru City Council, Pasir Gudang City Council, Kulai Municipal Council, Pengerang Municipal Council and part of Pontian Municipal Council.

The JS-SEZ is now in its final stages, paving the way for a joint agreement which is expected to be signed in September.

The Johor and federal governments are working together to ensure that JS-SEZ is able to attract global investors, especially involving private equity and venture capital. —Bernama