Johor MB: Forest City special financial zone has Putrajaya's backing on top of joint economic zone with Singapore

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

JOHOR BARU, April 19 — Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said that Forest City’s status as a Special Financial Zone (SFZ) has the full support of the federal government.

He said the Forest City SFZ was part of three main agendas that were discussed at the Johor state development special meeting that was chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Forest City yesterday.

“Johor detailed the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ), the Forest City SFZ as well as the establishment of Invest Malaysia Facilitation Centre (IMFC) as the three main agendas.

“Many other agendas were addressed, including the latest status of the JS-SEZ and SFZ policy framework, the prospects of investors who have expressed interest, preferred locations, business sectors, as well as incentives and suitable investment packages to be offered.

“God willing, this was conceived with the goal that Johor and Malaysia will have access to quality job opportunities and a better future,” said Onn Hafiz on his official Facebook here.

He was commenting on the closed-door meeting yesterday chaired by Anwar and attended by senior Cabinet members and the Johor state administration members.

Both the JS-SEZ and Forest City SFZ have been touted as having a competitive advantage in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to Johor.

Onn Hafiz also commended the IMFC’s establishment as a ‘one-facilitation centre’ which provides negotiation services and facilitates all business matters as an important addition, especially for Johor.

“Many positive things were achieved from the meeting. I express my deepest appreciation to the federal government for its steadfast commitment to helping Johor succeed effectively.

“Hopefully all these plans will be another catalyst for Johor to become a developed state by the year 2030,” he said.

During the state-level 2024 Madani Aidilfitri celebration in Angsana Mall Johor Baru yesterday, Anwar said Johor is expected to become the most advanced state in Malaysia in the next two years following the establishment of two special economic and financial zones

The prime minister reportedly said that the JS-SEZ and the Forest City SFZ will both drive the country’s economic growth further.

In January, Anwar and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the signing of the JS-SEZ Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries.

Last September, Onn Hafiz said the establishment of the JS-SEZ would be modelled after the Shenzhen Economic Zone in China, which managed to record a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of RM1.93 trillion in 2021.

Last August, Forest City, a mixed development mega project on four artificial islands in Johor’s western waters, was announced as an SFZ.

The designation will see more than 2832.79 hectares in Forest City allocated to the SFZ as part of foreign investment to boost the economic development of the area.