PETALING JAYA, Dec 7 — The Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will create a conducive environment for businesses and attract domestic and foreign investments.

Rehda Institute chairman Datuk Jeffrey Ng Tiong Lip said bilateral trade between Singapore-Malaysia reached US$83.53 billion (RM389 billion) in 2022 with both countries being each other’s second largest trading partners.

“Johor is the state to watch next year. The SEZ may stimulate infrastructure development in the region, including transportation, utilities and communication networks.

“This will create positive spillover effects on the overall economic development, including Forest City development by the Country Garden group,” said in his keynote address at the CEO Series 2023 (Economy and Business Forum) here today.

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Besides the current RTS Link Project between Woodlands in Singapore to Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru, he believed a revival of the high-speed railway (HSR) and additional crossings via ferry or even a third link bridge will generate positive effects on growth.

The RTS Link Project is expected to have an hourly capacity of 10,000 passengers per direction with a daily 40,000-passenger ridership.

“However, we also hope that the government can understand the plight of the property industry. The price increase in building materials, logistics and labour poses a serious challenge to construction and property development and has a spillover effect on the rest of the supply chain,” said Ng.

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At the same event, the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Malaysia and Rehda Institute exchanged a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Universiti Malaya to strengthen research, academics and training for the real estate industry.

Planned areas of collaboration between Rehda Institute and UM include public policy research, affordable housing, sustainable and smart cities development, environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, industry benchmarking and industry and consumer surveys and focus groups.

The MoU also hopes to see industry work placement opportunities and the co-development of training programmes. — Bernama

* A previous version of this story contained errors which have since been corrected.