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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                      16  August 2011

Iskandar investments expected to reach goal

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Iskandar Malaysia attracted about RM95bil (US$ 31.6 billion) in committed investments from January to June 2011, according to Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive officer Ismail Ibrahim.

This was more than double the cumulative RM47bil target for the five years up to 2010. From 2011 to 2015, Iskandar Malaysia is targeted to achieve RM73bil in investments.

“More good news (on investments) are coming to Iskandar but let Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak or Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman do the appropriate announcements,” Ismail added.

Iskandar will be focusing on potential investors from Asean, China, India, Japan and South Korea apart from Europe and the Middle East which were the main targets during its inception.

In line with the aspirations for a high-income economy, Iskandar would focus on acquiring quality investments.

Ismail expected more Singaporeans to invest in Iskandar as the small and medium enterprises were planning to relocate their operations due to the high cost of doing business in the republic.

Among the economic clusters under the comprehensive development plan are electrical and electronics, petrochemical and oleochemical, food and agro-processing, logistic and related services, tourism, health services, educational services, financial services, ICT and creative industries.

Ismail said Irda would conduct a study on the multiplier effect of major tourism-related projects such as the Johor Premium Outlet (JPO) and Legoland Theme Park.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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