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JOHOR BAHRU, Feb 1 — Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) attributes the RM17 billion investment raked in by Iskandar Malaysia in 2020, which was lesser than the average RM30 billion it could draw in previous years, to Covid-19.
It expects the pandemic to continue to affect investment into the main southern development corridor, projecting an estimation of RM15 billion to RM17 billion for 2021.
“This target is based on the present situation which is expected to remain in the community for the next few months or into the second quarter of this year,” chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim told a press conference at the launch of Iskandar Malaysia’s 15th Commemorative Campaign held virtually here today.
Nevertheless, he said it did not mean that IRDA was not doing its best to attract more domestic or foreign investment.
“We will continuously have discussions and engagements with potential investors because we believe and are very positive that this pandemic will fade away and when normalcy returns, we will be able to put Iskandar Malaysia back on track,” he said.
To attract investors, he said IRDA would find a new formula through restructuring a number of strategies in line with the new normal.
The formula includes promoting Iskandar Malaysia to local companies as a base to grow their businesses.
“We also need to find a more specific path. For example, our country may still be under restrictions, but some countries are ‘green’, and we do not have a problem if they want to start their business or invest in this region.
“So these are two approaches that we can develop and focus on to strengthen businesses and the domestic economy and at the same time, find the focal point on how we can continue to encourage investment and boost economic development in the region,” he said.
Ismail added that since its inception in 2006, Iskandar Malaysia’s investments as of December 2020 totalled RM340.3 billion, of which 60 per cent or RM202.2 billion has been realised.
Of that amount, 59 per cent was from domestic investment while the remaining 41 per cent was from foreign investment, with China being the highest investor with an investment value of RM54.6 billion.
This is followed by Singapore with investments worth RM24.3 billion; United States (RM8.39 billion); Japan (RM5.86 billion) and other countries such as Netherlands, South Korea, India and United Kingdom. — Bernama