C&W foresees IM propelling Malaysia’s economic expansion for next decade

SINGAPORE: Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) foresees Iskandar Malaysia in Johor propelling Malaysia’s economic expansion over the next decade and beyond.

“We believe there is sustainable investment interest in Iskandar Malaysia as prices are still very competitive despite their steady increase over the last five years.

“Concerted efforts from the relevant planning and regulatory authorities will ensure that Iskandar Malaysia remain the focal point for investment from both local and foreign investors,” said C&W managing director Sigrid Zialcita.

He said the development of commercial and services clusters in Iskandar Malaysia is set to further strengthen the existing industrial developments as Malaysia moves towards innovative, research and technology-driven industries.

“As with Kuala Lumpur, the prospects for real estate investment in Iskandar Malaysia look to be very favourable as immense opportunities are available in this market,” said Zialcita.

To date, Iskandar Malaysia has attracted RM131 billion in total investments and since 2006, has created 554,000 new jobs. Under the Comprehensive Development Plan for the South Johor Economic Region, one of the key development strategies is to attract high-value, technology-led industries to Iskandar Malaysia.

C&W noted that with numerous commercial and residential developments  presently in Iskandar Malaysia, new jobs are expected to be on the rise rapidly to create an environment of sustainable growth and enhance the competitiveness of Malaysia.

Executive managing director for C&W in Southeast Asia, Arsh Chaudhry, foresees Iskandar Malaysia complementing Singapore, as Shenzhen in China to Hong Kong and New Jersey to New York City in the US.

“Of the RM47 billion foreign direct investments into this region, over RM11 billion has come from Singapore. The Ascendas-UEM joint venture (JV) for developing a 210ha integrated technology park in Nusajaya, Capitaland’s JV with Temasek Holdings in Danga Bay for a 71-acre mixed-use development, Rowsley’s 10 million sq ft mixed development in Vantage Bay and Pacific Star’s residential development in Puteri Cove, all speak of the confidence that Singapore developers have in the synergies between Singapore and Iskandar,” said Chaudhry.

C&W has expanded its operations to Malaysia, and its Kuala Lumpur office is the 35th branch in the Asia-Pacific.

“Malaysia is a key market for both our investor and occupier clients. It’s the third largest economy in Southeast Asia, and going forward, it is going to play a key role in the Asean Economic Community.

“Malaysian capital sources have been active investors in real estate assets across the world and on the back of strong domestic demand, many of our global clients are expanding in Malaysia. Our new Malaysian office is a wholly-owned Cushman & Wakefield entity, illustrating our commitment to this exciting market,” said Chaudhry.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 27, 2014.

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