MB: Johor will emerge stronger post-pandemic
02 Jun 2021
After years of being among the top destinations for foreign and domestic investments in the country, Johor has dropped out of the top five list.
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) in its 2020 report showed Selangor on top with RM38.7bil, followed by Sabah (RM21bil), Sarawak (RM19.6bil), Kuala Lumpur and Penang with RM17.1bil and RM16bil respectively.
Johor only managed to attract RM4.67bil in investments last year, from a total of RM164bil investments approved for 4,599 projects in the manufacturing, service and other sectors nationwide last year.
China was the top foreign investor with RM18.1bil, followed by Singapore (RM10bil) and the Netherlands (RM7bil).
Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said Johor would overcome the tough situation and emerge even stronger once the Covid-19 pandemic was over and the state would become the preferred choice for investors.
He said Johor received RM11.45bil investments in 2019, and the figure declined by almost 60% last year.
“We are taking a strategic approach to continue attracting domestic and foreign investors to our shores regardless of the situation, ’’ Hasni told StarMetro.
He disclosed that the state government would give special attention to the Pagoh Special Economic Zone (PSEZ) in Muar, focusing on the manufacturing and service sectors by offering special incentives to them.
He said the PSEZ would bring development and economic spillover to the northern part of Johor and surrounding areas.
Hasni noted that the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) continued to attract strong interest from foreign and domestic investors despite operating in a challenging economic situation.
He said Irda was currently in talks with a fintech company as well as investors in the digital industry which required a highly skilled workforce and specialists in technology.
The Mentri Besar hoped the government would consider opening the Singapore-Malaysia border for the business community, a move that would prove beneficial to both countries, he pointed out.
“Singapore has recorded a positive economic growth despite the pandemic and Johor will also benefit from it, ’’ he said.
When contacted, former Johor mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin told StarMetro that the drop in investments was due to the many changes in government and uncertainties in terms of policies.
“We only started to feel the impact of the change in government at the federal and state
levels in 2018 and 2019, with investors becoming cautious, ” he said.
Nordin said Malaysia, like many countries in the world, was grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, and had to impose the movement control order to curb rising cases.
He urged the Federal Government to speed up the Covid-19 vaccination in the country and allow the private sector to take part in the undertaking.
Source: The Star