• "I hope Forest City SFZ can complement and serve as a catalyst to double the gross domestic product of Johor and Malaysia, besides creating thousands of jobs."

ISKANDAR PUTERI (May 13): Tax incentives to attract investments into the finance sector in the Forest City Special Financial Zone (SFZ) are expected to be finalised by the end of May.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi (pictured) said a proposal was submitted to the Finance Ministry at the Johor state development meeting chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on April 18.

"The state government has proposed the implementation of Forest City SFZ involving the banking and finance sector as well as domestic and international business services.

"I hope Forest City SFZ can complement and serve as a catalyst to double the gross domestic product of Johor and Malaysia, besides creating thousands of jobs," he said in an oral response to Andrew Chen Kah Eng (PH-Stulang) on the development of Forest City SFZ at the state assembly at Kota Iskandar.

Onn Hafiz said fiscal incentives including corporate tax exemptions and special rates for approved economic activities, special income tax rales for high-skilled labour and stamp duty waivers and a reduced rate for instruments of transfers for properties and shares are among those being sought from the Federal Government.

"Non-fiscal incentives include policies related to visa and immigration services to further enhance ease of movement, especially involving the Malaysia and Singapore entry points," Onn Hafiz (BN-Machap) said.

He said the SFZ development also involves infrastructure improvements such as highways, public transportation and other supporting facilities to improve accessibility and quality of life to benefit the local community.

Anwar reportedly said on April 18 that the high-impact Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone and the SFZ are capable of driving Johor’s economy ahead of other states in the next one to two years.

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