Singapore commerce group sets up Iskandar-specific portal

Iskandar development region

As Iskandar enters its tenth year as a development region, some projects that were seen as catalysts for growth in the region appear to be taking a longer gestation period than expected, with many developers taking a wait and see approach.

Companies hoping to take advantage of the region as a lower-cost location have faced problems in getting the manpower they need.

On the other hand, bright spots have come through in the areas of education and healthcare.

According to the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda), "Iskandar Malaysia is well on track". Irda has achieved 48 per cent of its target of attracting RM383 billion (S$128 billion) of committed investments from 2006 to 2025, with 10 years still to go, an Irda spokesman told The Straits Times. About 50 per cent of the RM187.96 billion in committed investments received so far has materialised, in terms of projects already built, for example.

SECTORS TO WATCH, CATALYTIC PROJECTS

Irda's Comprehensive Development Plan for 2014 to 2025 identifies nine economic sectors that will drive growth in the region.

The core sectors are electrical and electronics, petrochemical, oil and gas, food and agro-processing, logistics and tourism.

Its emerging sectors, which Irda feels have great potential to drive growth, are healthcare, education, creative and financial, investment, real estate and business services.

A total of 605, 381 jobs have been created in Iskandar Malaysia from 2007 to date in these nine sectors, along with other sectors, including property and construction.

Irda is targeting the creation of 817, 500 jobs by 2025. The region is projected to have a population of around three million by then.

The manufacturing sector has always been the region's main growth driver and accounts for about RM52.10 billion of committed investments to date, translating into firm demand for industrial space.

Source: www.straitstimes.com