Rafizi: Economic Zone Special Task Force To Be Created To Increase Investments, Jobs

The Malaysia-Singapore Ministerial Joint Committee Meeting for Iskandar Malaysia (JMCIM) has agreed to create a special task force to study the establishment of a Johor-Singapore special economic zone.

The purpose of this special economic zone is to increase investment and high-quality jobs in Johor and Singapore by facilitating the flow of people-to-people movement, goods, and business.

Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said today (July 18) he had the opportunity to lead the Malaysian delegation to Singapore to attend the 16th which took place on 14 July 2023.

The meeting was also attended by the Minister of National Development (Singapore), Desmond Lee, Acting Minister Transport (Singapore), Chee Hong Tat, Johor Chief Minister, Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, and senior officials from both countries.

Rafizi added the special task force will be led by the Ministry of Economy from Malaysia and the Ministry of Trade and Industry from Singapore, with support from other government agencies. The Ministry of Economy will continue to take an open attitude towards regional cooperation, especially in the fields of economy, talent, and technology.

During the meeting, Rafizi had the opportunity to meet strategic industry players which included international semiconductor companies with expertise in frontend, backend, and design components.

The Ministry of Economy, together with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI), the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), held a dialogue session with semiconductor companies such as Micron, Infineon Technologies, ST Microelectronics, Venture Corporation, and Synopsys to outline a strategic vision for the semiconductor industry in Malaysia.

The semiconductor industry is estimated to reach US$1 trillion dollars in 2030 due to increased global demand. Therefore, the determination of a strategic vision that can use our existing advantages, especially in backend and integrated circuit design (integrated circuit design), capable of creating high-paying and high-value jobs.

The world’s largest institutional investors hosted by UBS, the largest private bank internationally.

The Ministry of Economy has also met with institutional investors who have assets under management (assets under management) between RM180 billion and RM3.2 trillion, and exchanged views on the current economic and political situation, in addition to sharing the Ministry’s plans for the years next year.

In the discussion, the Ministry has focused on the National Energy Transition Roadmap which is able to have a big impact on the Malaysian economy with a total investment opportunity of RM637 billion.

Rafizi also sat down with venture capitalists and founders of international start-up companies.

“The Ministry of Economy has received a very encouraging response from the most influential venture capital firms in the startup world such as GGV, Iterative VC, TPG Global, East Ventures, Insignia Ventures Partners, and Openspace Ventures for the Ministry’s efforts in developing the startup ecosystem in Malaysia,” he said in a statement released by the ministry.

In a session hosted by K3 Ventures and Bloomberg, one of the venture capital firms present also announced their intention to open a branch in Kuala Lumpur soon. The Ministry of Economy will hold engagement sessions with venture capital firms and experienced founders more often to express the country’s ambition to make Kuala Lumpur a regional startup hub.

He added: “I will convey the feedback received from this visit as well as the policies that need to be formulated to the Cabinet as a measure of economic structuring with the selection of the country’s catalyst industry,” Rafizi added.

Earlier, Rafizi said Malaysia is mulling the notion of establishing the economic region to strengthen the state’s economic potential and the idea has been mooted by the state government, the federal government and the government of Singapore in meetings between the three parties, but it has yet to be raised as an official proposal.

“I think we are ready to see in what way Singapore views Johor as part of the economic zone because we also have our ideas and proposals on how we view Singapore as part of our economic zone. I believe that it is now the right time to start the discussion formally,” he said to reporters after attending the engagement session on the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) half-term review at the Iskandar Puteri City Council on May 28.

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