“Malaysia’s Shenzhen” Iskandar to be three times the size of Singapore

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Malaysia’s mega-development of Iskandar, the country’s main southern development corridor in the state of Johor, is expected to become three times larger in land size than neighbouring Singapore when completed as projected in 2025, the Financial Times noted, dubbing the economic zone of residential and commercial facilities “Malaysia’s Shenzhen” in a referral to the Chinese city adjacent to Hong Kong.

The attribution seems indeed to be more fitting than Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s earlier comparison of Iskandar as the “New Jersey” to Singapore’s “Manhattan.”

The paper noted that the development would benefit both nations, giving Singapore an industrial hinterland it is currently lacking and Malaysia the opportunity to tap the economic and financial expertise of the city state, benefits that would allow the creation of a large economic hub in Southeast Asia of quite some significance.

There are also forecasts that Iskandar Malaysia’s population would grow from 1.2 million to three million people in the next seven years and have an estimated workforce of 1.46 million people by then. The GDP per capita (PPP) of the region is also expected to rise to $31,100 in 2025, from $14,790 in 2005, with an annual change of around 6 per cent.

Singapore’s central bank chief Ravi Menon even came up with the idea to establish a single economic zone covering Iskandar and Singapore which would provide investors with an “integrated production and services base” in the region.

The report further noted that a number of companies from Singapore had already seized the opportunity to relocate their business to Iskandar as the cost of commercial space there was a third of Singapore’s prices. Others would split their businesses by establishing manufacturing or back office facilities in Iskandar and keep their finance and research and development units in Singapore.

However, among the obstacles that could slow down the development are the increase in the minimum wage in Malaysia last year, China’s crackdown on capital flight that has put the brake on Chinese investments in Iskandar as of late, as well as fears of a property glut within the economic zone, the paper pointed out.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia’s mega-development of Iskandar, the country’s main southern development corridor in the state of Johor, is expected to become three times larger in land size than neighbouring Singapore when completed as projected in 2025, the Financial Times noted, dubbing the economic zone of residential and commercial facilities “Malaysia’s Shenzhen” in a referral to the Chinese city adjacent to Hong Kong.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia’s mega-development of Iskandar, the country’s main southern development corridor in the state of Johor, is expected to become three times larger in land size than neighbouring Singapore when completed as projected in 2025, the Financial Times noted, dubbing the economic zone of residential and commercial facilities “Malaysia’s Shenzhen” in a referral to the Chinese city adjacent to Hong Kong.

The attribution seems indeed to be more fitting than Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s earlier comparison of Iskandar as the “New Jersey” to Singapore’s “Manhattan.”

The paper noted that the development would benefit both nations, giving Singapore an industrial hinterland it is currently lacking and Malaysia the opportunity to tap the economic and financial expertise of the city state, benefits that would allow the creation of a large economic hub in Southeast Asia of quite some significance.

There are also forecasts that Iskandar Malaysia’s population would grow from 1.2 million to three million people in the next seven years and have an estimated workforce of 1.46 million people by then. The GDP per capita (PPP) of the region is also expected to rise to $31,100 in 2025, from $14,790 in 2005, with an annual change of around 6 per cent.

Singapore’s central bank chief Ravi Menon even came up with the idea to establish a single economic zone covering Iskandar and Singapore which would provide investors with an “integrated production and services base” in the region.

The report further noted that a number of companies from Singapore had already seized the opportunity to relocate their business to Iskandar as the cost of commercial space there was a third of Singapore’s prices. Others would split their businesses by establishing manufacturing or back office facilities in Iskandar and keep their finance and research and development units in Singapore.

However, among the obstacles that could slow down the development are the increase in the minimum wage in Malaysia last year, China’s crackdown on capital flight that has put the brake on Chinese investments in Iskandar as of late, as well as fears of a property glut within the economic zone, the paper pointed out.

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