PM Anwar: Special financial and economic zones to drive Johor’s growth further

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

JOHOR BARU, April 18 — Johor is expected to become the most advanced state in Malaysia in the next two years following the establishment of two special economic zones (SEZ), said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said that the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ) and the Forest City Special Financial Zone (SFZ) will drive the country’s economic growth further.

“These two special economic and financial zones will drive the country’s economic development more rapidly.

“There is no target at the moment, but the most important thing is that these two zones exist to assist

“The economic growth in Johor is expected to pick up at a faster pace compared to other states in the next year or two,” Anwar told reporters after attending the state-level 2024 Madani Aidilfitri celebration held at the Angsana Mall Johor Baru here today.

Present at the event were Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi.

The Johor 2024 Madani Aidilfitri celebration is jointly hosted by the Defence Ministry and the state government.

Anwar, who is also the finance minister, had earlier chaired the Johor state development meeting at Forest City in Iskandar Puteri.

In his speech, Anwar said the existence of the special economic and financial zones is a sign that Johor is poised to record very rapid growth soon.

“The past year has been a good year for Johor.

“Not only is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Ibrahim, who is also the 17th Agong, from this state, but it is also led by young leaders. They have managed to develop Johor well and the state’s economic development is among the best in the country,” he said.

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.

The idea of establishing the zone was first mooted by Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli after a meeting with the Johor government in Iskandar Puteri last May.

Following the meeting, both Malaysia and Singapore agreed to establish a special task force to study the viability of establishing the special economic zone.

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.