JOHOR BARU: The Budget 2018 will prioritise the people’s well-being inclusive of the prospering economic growth which is in line with the Iskandar Malaysia Comprehensive Development Plan.

“We would like to extend our appreciation to the Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak on the Budget 2018 announcement that will benefit the people and businesses in various sectors in Malaysia in general, and in Iskandar Malaysia in particular,” said Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).

RM1 billion allocated for the five economic corridors will further boost investment, trade and industry. The provision of public transport such as Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) and Rapid Transit System (RTS) in Iskandar Malaysia will provide a faster and more secure connectivity system such as the High-Speed Rail (HSR), MRT, LRT and others.

The RM10 billion provisioned for SMEs is in line with SME’s targeted contribution of 41% towards GDP by 2020. Through this allocation, IRDA can implement human capital development programmes such as Iskandar Malaysia Employment Grant (IMEG) and Iskandar Malaysia Professional Fund (IMProf).

Iskandar Malaysia supports the government’s target of creating 3.3 million job opportunities by 2020, and by creating 817,500 employment opportunities in this region by 2025.

“This is also in line with achieving 45% of skilled and knowledgeable workers in Iskandar Malaysia by 2025 and supporting the government’s effort to achieve the target of 35% skilled and knowledgeable workers at national levels as outlined in the 11th Malaysia Plan,” said Datuk Ismail.

Various grants and provisions related to the 4th industrial revolution and digital economy supports Iskandar Malaysia’s emphasis on Digital Economy as it directly and indirectly impacts all economic sectors through digital-based outsourcing services.

The core objective of the Budget 2018 is to spur investment, trade and industry where the total domestic investment is expected to increase to 6.7% in 2018. Thus far, Iskandar Malaysia succeeded in attracting investments worth RM242 billion (2006 – August 2017) with support from the Federal Government and State Government.

Source: The Iskandarian