JOHOR BARU, Jan 11 ― The proposed Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ) is starting to take shape with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Malaysia and Singapore today.
Earlier, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) by Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli and Singaporean Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong.
Anwar also hosted a luncheon for Lee and his delegation, which earlier attended the completion of the span between Malaysia and Singapore for the Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link).
The JS-SEZ is expected to further boost trade between Johor and Singapore, and could flourish like the Chinese city of Shenzhen, a success story of a special economic zone.
Both countries are partnering each other to create the special economic zone, adjacent to the Singaporean border to foster stronger business connections and improve connectivity between the two countries, as the Southeast Asian region strives to counter a global economic slowdown.
The JS-SEZ was mooted by Rafizi after a meeting with the Johor state government at Iskandar Puteri in May last year and both countries agreed to take a step further by setting up a special task force to study the establishment of the special economic zone two months after that (July).
The special economic zone is also expected to improve the business ecosystems of both the Iskandar Malaysia region and Singapore.
Among the sectors that the zone is targeting are electronics, financial services, business‑related services and healthcare.
Last year, Johor secured RM70.6 billion worth of foreign investments in various sectors.
Singapore is the state’s second-largest foreign investor, contributing to around 70 per cent of Johor’s total foreign direct investment in the manufacturing sector. ― Bernama