Iskandar Malaysia recorded RM7.56 billion in new investment in the second quarter of this year, compared with RM5 billion in the preceding quarter, bringing cumulative committed investments since 2006 to end-June 2013 to RM118.93 billion.
The figure was an increase of RM12.62 billion since Dec 31, 2012, and out of the cumulative committed investments, RM53.73 billion or 45 per cent represented investments that have been realised.
“The development in Iskandar Malaysia continues rapidly and succeeded in attracting local and foreign investors. Moreover, local investment has also increased every quarter,” he said in a statement here Thursday.
Mohamed Khaled, who is also joint-Chairman of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), said up to June 30, 2013, local investors contributed RM78 billion (66 per cent) out of the cumulative committed investments while the balance of RM40 billion (34 per cent) was contributed by foreign investors.
From January to March this year, he said Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and United States were five countries that registered the highest amount of investment in the manufacturing sector in the region.
Iskandar Malaysia promotes nine key economic sectors. Three manufacturing sectors namely electrical and electronics; petrochemicals and oleo-chemicals; and food processing and agro products recorded the highest cumulative committed investments amounting to RM43 billion.
The other six promoted sectors were logistics (RM4.8 billion), tourism (RM2 billion), healthcare (RM1.5 billion), education (RM1.5 billion), financial services (RM0.6 billion) and creative industry (RM0.4 billion).
The other sectors that supported the growth of the region included property development, in which the residential, retail and industrial segments collectively contributed cumulative investments of RM45 billion as at June 30, 2013.
This was followed by utilities (RM9.5 billion), government investment mainly in infrastructure and public works (RM8.3 billion) and emerging technologies (RM1.03 billion).
Meanwhile, IRDA Chief Executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said new projects such as Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios in Medini, Nusajaya and Traders Hotel in Puteri Harbour, which will be fully completed soon, would help increase the value proposition of the region as a destination of choice for international investments.
“We also expect the opening of the water park at Legoland Malaysia this year will attract more tourists to Iskandar Malaysia. I was made to understand that the construction of the water park is 70 per cent complete and on schedule.
“It will have over 20 water slides and other games, and is expected to open to the public this October,” he said.
Ismail said besides that, IRDA and Johor Baharu City Council was also working together to implement the Sungai Segget redevelopment project as an environmental-friendly river, the first such project in Malaysia.
The project is part of the JB Transformation Programme launched by Johor Menteri Besar on July 6 this year.
“The Sungai Segget rehabilitation project is aimed at improving the quality of the river water and reduce pollutant loads to the Strait of Tebrau. The project is expected to be ready by December 2015 and will become a catalyst for the overall JB Transformation Programme.
“Our target, when the rehabilitation is completed later, is that the water quality of Sungai Segget and Strait of Tebrau will improve from Class III and IV to Class ll. This subsequently will result in the reduction of pollutant loads to the Strait of Tebrau by 90 per cent.
“Long-term results are clean and healthy environment which is able to attract more tourists and visitors to Johor Baharu city. We estimate the number of visitors to the city to increase 80 per cent,” he said.
The JB Transformation Programme is aimed at making Johor Baharu city as a vibrant and sustainable city of international standing and provides socio-economic benefits to the local residents.