PM CALLS FOR SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC RECOVERY VIA ISKANDAR MALAYSIA BUBBLE TRAVELLERS, HARD AND SOFT INFRASTRUCTURE AND TALENT RESKILLING INITIATIVES

ISKANDAR MALAYSIA, 22nd January 2021 – Iskandar Malaysia has outlined bubble travellers, hard and soft infrastructure and talent reskilling initiatives as part of its year-long core programmes to assist in economic recovery from the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Perikatan Nasional government had already implemented many initiatives to address the basic need of the rakyat and ensure small businesses could continue to survive during these difficult times.

“Today, I am pleased to see that Iskandar Malaysia has taken the efforts to reinforce its focus on high impact initiatives that will not only support survivability but also continuously boost our economy and protect the lives and livelihoods of the rakyat,” Muhyiddin, who is also co-Chairman of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) said this during IRDA Members of Authority (MoA) meeting yesterday.

Acknowledging the enormous potential of the region, Muhyiddin said Iskandar Malaysia should explore the opportunities in modern farming as it could be a key contributor towards the country’s national food security agenda.

With plenty of land areas and investors’ interest in the region and a well-coordinated effort with the relevant government ministries and agencies, implementing modern farming could turn Johor into the biggest food producer in the country, he added.

Meanwhile, Johor Menteri Besar, Datuk Haji Hasni Mohammad who is also co-Chairman of IRDA, said “at the state level, we, too, want to see the economy and Johoreans to recover quickly from disruptions caused by the pandemic.

With the initiatives presented by Iskandar Malaysia, we hope the local economy will get the necessary boost from the growth of local talents and businesses.”

Chief Executive of IRDA, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said many of the initiatives that Iskandar Malaysia concentrated on was reflective of the national 2021 Budget .

“All these will ensure the benefits and results we will reap are in line with the national agenda which ultimately will benefit the Rakyat through a stronger and more stable economy.

These initiatives, combined with the region’s existing advantages in terms of location and resources, will further boost the region’s holistic ecosystem, making it a prime location for economic recovery.”

Under Talent Reskilling, the Iskandar Malaysia Talent Innovation (IMTI) programme has been designed to carry out on- the- job training programme to encourage deployment of semi-skilled and skilled Malaysian talents who have been retrenched.

The programme will also ensure less dependence on foreign workers by encouraging companies to innovate and re-engineer their work processes.

The Human Capital Development Programme for Iskandar Malaysia Promoted Economic Sectors, meanwhile, will focus on niche and required programmes to cater specifically to talent needs and talent gaps driven by industry demand in the 9 promoted economic sectors in Iskandar Malaysia.

As Smart City is the key agenda in the region, the Technopreneur Incubator Programme seeks to hone fresh graduates and unemployed graduates to become technopreneurs, with focus on innovation and commercialisation.

Through bubble travellers’ initiative, Iskandar Malaysia is aiming at targeted individuals who could contribute towards the local economy, be allowed to enter the country. They can be business travellers, international students or tourists coming from COVID-19 green zone countries from around the world. However, these bubble travellers must still adhere to strict guidelines such as arriving through bonded transportations and only visiting nominated locations.

Basic infrastructure, primarily a super high speed, flexible, open-access communication network, remains the key agenda for the region to pursue as a long-term solution to entice investors and visitors alike to come to Iskandar Malaysia.

Ismail also said for the 2020 financial year, Iskandar Malaysia is expected to record RM24 billion cumulative investment from January to December, with 75% deriving from foreign investors and 25% from domestic investors. The Promoted Sectors contributed 43% to the total investment recorded last year.

In the same corresponding year, investment in the manufacturing sector remains the top amongst the 9 promoted sectors, followed by logistics, tourism, healthcare and the education sectors.

Amongst the top approved manufacturing projects in Iskandar Malaysia in 2020 were Shimano Components (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd, Sapura Technics Sdn Bhd, SRE Power Technology Sdn. Bhd, Baojia New Energy Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd, Daiichi Seiko (M) Sdn. Bhd and Enics Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Since 2006 until today, Iskandar Malaysia’s total cumulative investment stood at RM337.3 billion with China, Singapore, USA, Japan, Netherlands and Republic of Korea being the top foreign investors in the region.

During the meeting, Muhyiddin praised Iskandar Malaysia for its outstanding achievements and performances despite the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic. He also congratulated Iskandar Malaysia in conjunction with its 15th anniversary and 15th Year Commemorative Campaign (IM15CC) which will run throughout this year.

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