Johor looking to woo more foreign investors
14 Feb 2023
Johor can attract foreign investors and businessmen, including those from China, with its facilities and opportunities, says state housing and local government committee chairman Datuk Mohd Jafni Md Shukor.
He said that besides its close proximity to Singapore, the state also has all the necessary elements to not only facilitate such foreign businesses but also allow them to settle here.
“From international schools to private clinics and luxury apartments, we have it all in Johor. We welcome foreign nationals, including those from China, who want to build a life here.
“Their presence will also spur the local economy. We can see this in the tourism sector where after the reopening of borders, the state has been receiving a large number of international visitors, especially around Desaru and Iskandar Puteri.
“This has really helped in our recovery,” he said in an interview.
Mohd Jafni said Johor had also been seeing an increase in investments and foreign businesses relocating there, including those from China and South Korea, since Covid-19 travel restrictions were lifted.
“Even if we look at the figures from Mida (Malaysian Investment Development Authority), we can see that the state managed to attract some RM60.9bil in foreign investments in the first six months of last year alone.
“The figure is significantly higher than Kuala Lumpur (RM25.7bil) and Selangor (RM25.7bil), which are in second and third place in terms of foreign investments.
“This is a clear indication of Johor’s potential and we are working hard to attract more foreign investors,” he said.
Mohd Jafni was responding to reports that China’s ultra-rich had been flocking to South-East Asia, especially Singapore, since the Middle Kingdom reopened its borders.
According to reports, Singapore is seeing an influx of such families from China looking to protect their wealth following Beijing’s recent crackdown on tech billionaires and tax-shy celebrities.
Mohd Jafni pointed to Johor’s “fast lane” concept, which was started by the Kulai Municipal Council, that would make it easier for foreign investors to set up businesses here.
“The fast lane concept was meant to cut red tape, ease applications and speed up approvals for investors to begin business here.
“Previously, investors needed to ensure that the factories they set up in Johor had been completed before they could bring in any machines. However, with the fast lane initiative, they can do so even before that.
“This will save them a lot of time and could encourage them to do business in Johor,” he said.
State investment, trade and consumer affairs committee chairman Lee Ting Han said that while Johor has the potential to attract businessmen and investors, it may not benefit much from the reported influx of wealthy families from China into Singapore.
“It may not be likely for the super-rich from China living in Singapore to move here as most of them prefer living in capital cities. However, they are definitely welcome to make their way to Johor if they choose to do so and to also spend their money here,” he said.
“We focus more on attracting those who want to start businesses in Johor. In fact, there are many businessmen from other countries who started companies in Singapore first before coming to Johor to explore other opportunities.
“These are the groups that are more keen to move to Johor as there are plenty of business opportunities here. Their presence will bring more positive impact for locals.”
Source: The Star