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Iskandar Malaysia seeking more global investors and partners

KUALA LUMPUR: Iskandar Investment Bhd will continue to seek long-term global investors and partners to spur the progress of the Iskandar Malaysia growth corridor in Johor.

In a statement on Monday April 19, Iskandar Investment president and chief executive officer Arlida Ariff said  strong relationships with existing strategic partners had ensured the ongoing progress of Iskandar Malaysia.

“The Middle East is a valued market for Iskandar Investment due to our shared cultural and business values,” Arlida said.

Iskandar Investment, a participant at the on-going four-day Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2010 which ends this Wednesday, hopes to highlight at the event the milestones and investment opportunities in leisure, tourism and education within Iskandar Malaysia.

To recap, Iskandar Malaysia — originally known as the South Johor Economic Region — was unveiled in November 2006. It covers 2,217 sq km and comprises the logistic triangle of Senai Airport to the north, Port of Tanjung Pelepas to the southwest, and Johor Port in Pasir Gudang to the southeast.

The development initiative is the first of five nationwide economic growth corridors proposed by the Malaysian government.

In July 2007, the Northern Corridor Economic Region — which comprises Perlis, Kedah, Penang and northern Perak  was launched. This was followed by the East Coast Economic Region which comprises Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang three months later.

Subsequently, the Sabah Development Corridor and Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy were unveiled in 2008.

Iskandar Malaysia has its selling points. First, the growth enclave of about three times the size of neighbouring Singapore is deemed a primary beneficiary of the potential expansion of the land-scarce island nation, which in turn, has been capitalising on its its mid-way location between emerging economies China and India.

Second, the services sector will play a key role in Iskandar Malaysia's development. Of great interest is Iskandar Malaysia's positioning as an important centre for Islamic banking in Southeast Asia as an alternative to conventional financial services in the region.

According to Arlida, Iskandar Investment’s Middle East partners which include names like Mubadala, Millennium, Kuwait Finance House, and Aldar, have invested US$1.3 billion to jointly develop Medini, the flagship development of Malaysia’s first economic corridor.

Iskandar Investment began 2010 with the announcement of a feasibility study with Raffles Education Corp Ltd, the largest private education provider in the Asia Pacific, to develop Raffles University Iskandar, a multi-institutional education campus in EduCity, Iskandar Malaysia.

In addition, key milestones of the growth corridor include the construction of a 21.5 acre stadium and sports complex which began in February 2010 and due for completion in September 2011. This is in time for the launch of the Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia campus in May 2011.

Moreover, there is an agreement to establish Marlborough College Malaysia, the first international venture by a leading British independent, co-educational boarding school catering to the schooling needs of local and international students from ages five to 18. It is due for launch in September 2012.

Iskandar Investment, in collaboration with WCT Bhd, a builder and property developer, will undertake a high-rise residential development in Medini known a  1Medini. The condominium project is due for launch in mid-2010.

“I am heartened by the progress on the ground of developments which will meet the growing demand for entertainment, lifestyle and leisure amenities in Malaysia and the region.

“Iskandar Investment will continue to deliver value to our shareholders as we create an iconic international tourist destination and vibrant living environment in Medini, Iskandar Malaysia.” Arlida said.

For more information on Iskandar Investment’s developments and investment opportunities, visit Stand AC20 at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2010.
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