JOHOR BARU: Development in Iskandar Malaysia will be the catalyst for turning the region into an international metropolis.

Since its establishment in 2006, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) has been committed to making this a reality, based on the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) 2006-2025.

CDP ii (2014-2025) was introduced as a revision of CDP 2006–2025. IRDA has created five flagship zones in the region, which have seen rapid growth and development.

For the city centre’s flagship zone A, the developments include the Angry Bird Activity Park, Komtar JBCC shopping mall, DoubleTree by Hilton, Bank Simpanan Nasional building and several hotels.

Projects taking shape in the same zone include the Mid Valley Southkey Megamall, Astaka Padu@Bukit Senyum, Columbia Asia Hospital Tebrau, Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, Thompson Medical Specialist Centre and R7F Princess Cove.

Most of the completed projects are in Iskandar Puteri’s Zone B.

They include Educity@Iskandar, Bio-Xcel Malaysia, Puteri Harbour, Legoland Malaysia, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studio, University of Reading Malaysia and residential development projects.

Projects under development in Zone B include Sunway Iskandar International School, Johor Darul Ta’zim Sports City, Puteri Harbour Convention Centre, Nusajaya Downtown, FASTrack Iskandar racetrack and the Sunway Iskandar residential project.

The Western Gateway development (Zone C) involves the construction of Tanjung Bin Power Plant, Forest City, Sunway@Pendas and Sungai Pulai Wellness Resort.

In Zone D, which is the Eastern Gateway development, five completed projects are Renaissance Hotel, Tanjung Langsat Port, Tanjung Langsat Industrial Park, Boulevard@Permas Jaya and City of Knowledge@Bandar Seri Alam.

In the same zone, projects in progress are Johor Halal Park, Sime Darby Business Park and Senibong Cove.

Also in the same zone, which is in the Senai-Skudai area, completed projects are Johor Premium Outlet, Senai Technology Park, Senai Hi-Tech Park, i-Park@Indahpura, i-Park@Senai Airport City, Setia Business Park, Eco Business Park, Synergy Cloud Data Centre (first phase) and Hershey Malaysia plant.

The completed projects involve RM140 billion worth of investments, which are part of committed investments of RM253 billion.

IRDA is optimistic that it can achieve RM300 billion in investments this year from sectors such as services, manufacturing and property.

It hopes that the region can meet the target of committed investments totalling RM383 billion by 2025.

Its chief executive, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, said up to December last year, Iskandar Malaysia recorded total committed investments of RM253 billion.

“At the moment, 63 per cent of the investments comes from local firms and the rest from foreigners.

“The highest investment from a single country is RM30 billion from China. We also received investments from Singapore (RM20 billion), the United States, Japan and South Korea.

“The development of Iskandar Malaysia is focused on making it a high-income region,” he said in an interview with the New Straits Times Press recently.

Ismail said IRDA wanted to ensure that development in Iskandar Malaysia would produce high returns through the involvement of the federal and state governments.

“We have organised programmes to boost the participation and pool of entrepreneurs through small- and medium-sized enterprises.”

He said the economic climate should not be taken lightly as IRDA had positioned Iskandar Malaysia as a region that would compete on the global stage.

“We have to be sensitive to uncertainties not only in Asean, but also globally. For that, Iskandar Malaysia needs to work harder by taking proactive measures.”

Under the Iskandar Regional Development Authority Act 2017 (Act 664), IRDA was established to drive the policy and strategies for the Iskandar Malaysia’s development.

IRDA is a responsible for the implementation and planning of programmes by government agencies to encourage trade, investment and development of Iskandar Malaysia.

Source: New Straits Times