Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) highlighted new areas of interest in the economic region of Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, namely modern farming and emerging technologies, in a bid to stay nimble and to cater to the current consumer patterns amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to IRDA CEO Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, the statutory body is looking into state-of-the-art, high tech modern farming with less usage of land.
According to Ismail, Iskandar Malaysia has drawn steady investments in 2021.
“Despite the fact that we are facing the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been able to gain more than RM7 billion worth of investments (from the review period of January to April 2021); 20% were domestic investments, and 80% were foreign investments,” Ismail said.
“From the realised investments, we were able to reflect how to create jobs and local businesses that revolve around the sectors in Iskandar Malaysia. If you look at the performance [in Iskandar Malaysia] in the last 15 years, we have been able to draw RM341.4 billion worth of cumulative investments [out of which, 61% has been realised].”
Ismail added that the statutory body is now in the midst of its second comprehensive development plan, and it is embarking on its third comprehensive plan for Iskandar Malaysia.
“The first two [earlier] plans have served the region well, and we shall continue to use them as a basis to plan our growth and come up with [future] implementation programmes, and so on. We believe we would be able to push for exponential growth,” he said.
“Historically speaking, Johor has enjoyed many levels of growth that are represented by many sectors — but for Iskandar Malaysia, we focus on nine promoted sectors that are divided into manufacturing ones such as oil and gas, food and agriculture processing, and services such as logistics, tourism and healthcare, among others. In the last 15 years, about 40% of the investments derive from these nine sectors, especially in manufacturing.”
The above is an excerpt from the article IRDA explores emerging tech, modern farming for Iskandar Malaysia, drawing more than RM7b investments in 2021 written by Hannah Rafee and Racheal Lee published in The Edge Markets on 20 August 2021.