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Malaysia has progressed from an economy dependent on agriculture and primary commodities to a manufacturing-based, export-driven economy spurred on by high technology, knowledge-based and capital-intensive industries.

Malaysia striving in overdrive mode by implementing radical transformation in line to the Vision 2020.

The New Economic Model (NEM) to be achieved through an Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) constitutes a key pillar which will propel Malaysia to being an advanced nation with inclusiveness and sustainability in line with goals set forth in Vision 2020.

The ETP will be driven by eight Strategic Reforms Initiatives (SRIs) which will form the basis of the relevant policy measures.

The Government’s initiatives have produced positive results and are reflected in the nation economic growth figures.

In 2010, the Malaysian economy grew 7.2%, compared to a contraction of 1.7% in 2009. Based on current estimates, Bank Negara Malaysia has projected a growth of 5-6% in 2011.

Malaysia was named as the 10 most competitive countries in the world, according to the 2010 World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY).

Malaysia also clichéd number 27th of the world’s most networked economy and the highest-ranked nation not to belong to the group of high-income countries as stated in the Global Information Technology Report 2009-2010

As a proof to the country’s commitment to promoting free trade and business incentives, the government has established five economic growth corridors, to further develop Malaysia.

The five economic growth corridors are:

•   Iskandar Malaysia in Southern Johor (Iskandar Malaysia);

•   Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER);

•   East Coast Economic Region (ECER);

•   Sabah Development Corridor (SDC); and

•   Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

Priority will be given to building urban agglomerations, focusing corridors around clusters and developing high economic impact sectors under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) (2011-2015).

Iskandar Malaysia – the Southern Development Corridor

Iskandar Malaysia, is a geographically and economically important region with key industrial, logistics and commercial centres.

Iskandar Malaysia identified as one of the key catalysts and high-impact developments under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (2006-2010). Under the Plan, the federal government had allocated RM6.83billion for infrastructure projects in Iskandar Malaysia.

Iskandar Malaysia will be developed into a major regional commercial hub with first-world facilities.

The development of Iskandar Malaysia focuses on the balancing of human and physical aspects of development while promoting sustainable development by being mindful of the environment. It is guided by five strategic pillars and anchored by three key : An Equitable and Fair Distribution Among Stakeholders, Growth and Value Creation and Nation Building foundations.

Development of the Iskandar Malaysia offers a meaningful opportunity for the Malaysian Government and the private sector, to drive reforms and innovation in delivery systems, local government, physical planning, infrastructure development and environmental protection among others.

Iskandar Malaysia which was launched on 4th November 2006. Iskandar Malaysia will drive the growth of the property sector in Johor. The influx of local and foreign investors would create job opportunities within the 2,217 sq km Iskandar Malaysia and the presence of new residents boded well for the market in Johor.

The retail sector in Iskandar Malaysia will enjoy exciting times with more investments and new players expected to enter the market in the near future according to a recent statement by the southern region.

The Malaysian government has approved incentives for developers and investors involved in the development. Since its launching in 2006, there were more than 25 developers who had already invested in Iskandar Malaysia.

In 2008, three local companies, Kota Selat Tebrau Sdn Bhd, Best Reality Point Sdn Bhd and Tune Hotels Sdn Bhd were selected to undertake new waterfront projects worth about RM540million within the Danga Bay area in Iskandar Malaysia.

The Johor property market also benefited from Iskandar Malaysia as demand for high-end residential properties was on the rise in southern Johor.

Besides the “Iskandar” factor, Singapore also played an important role in determining the economic growth of Johor.

Some prominent developers are using Iskandar Malaysia to promote their products and one of these developers is UEM Land Bhd.

UEM Land, being the largest landowner and master developer of Iskandar Malaysia, will be the key beneficiary to this region.

UEM Land owns about 9,564 acres of developable land in Iskandar Malaysia and there are plans to develop more affordable housing units for the folks in this part of Johor.

It is hoped that greater bilateral ties with Singapore and the rumours of a 3rd  bridge to be built on the eastern part of Johor to link with Changi in Singapore has brought back the focus to Iskandar Malaysia.

Two of its high-end residential development projects include East Ledang and Horizon Hills, a joint venture between UEM Land and Gamuda Bhd.

It had attracted a large number of foreign purchasers who made up 65% and 45% of the purchasers in East Ledang and Horizon Hills respectively.

Iskandar Malaysia had attracted RM42billion of development pledges, with actual cumulative investments reaching RM12.9billion.

It has sold 2,476 acres of undeveloped land in Nusajaya to developers, investors and strategic partners. Some of the prominent development projects include Acerinox’s RM5billion steel manufacturing plant, the Johor Administration Centre and the RM650million Legoland Park Malaysia.

The Johor Administration Centre, launched in April 2009, also helped to provide a realistic focus and commitment to thoroughly develop Iskandar Malaysia into one of the most prominent townships in this part of the region.

Legoland Park Malaysia is set to have miniature replicas of iconic buildings and structures across the region. The park, situated on a 23-hectare site and scheduled to be completed in 2012, is a joint venture project between the Merlin Entertainment Group and Iskandar Investment Bhd.


(this article written for 1BINA.my)