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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        2  may 2011

Malaysia sets economic corridor goals

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Iskandar Malaysia aims to attract RM73bil new investments to the country's first economic growth corridor starting from January 2011 until December 2015.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive officer Ismail Ibrahim said although it was getting more challenging to attract new investments, the figure was achievable. He said that by December last year, Iskandar Malaysia had attracted RM69.48 billion (US$23.5 billion) surpassing the RM47bil target for 2010 from its inception on Nov. 4, 2006.

Ismail added that RM3.76bil new investment was recorded in the first quarter of the year, bringing the total committed investments to RM73.24bil since 2006.

Of the total RM73.24bil, RM43.29mil or 59 percent are from local investors and RM29.95 percent or 41 percent are from foreign investors, of which 41 percent of the total committed investments have been spent to date.

The manufacturing sector contributed RM28.25bil, with RM24.26bil from properties, RM6.28bil from the Government, RM2.90bil from utilities, RM1.47bil from tourism, while RM10.08bil from others.

“The targets will be reviewed regularly in view of the ever-changing global economic and investment climate. There are no hard and fast rules for us,'' he said at a media briefing for journalists from Kuala Lumpur on the progress of Iskandar Malaysia on Saturday.

He said Iskandar Malaysia would 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 early inception.

Ismail said Iskandar Malaysia would be entering its fifth year in November, and the latest investment figure reflected the serious commitments and efforts undertaken by all stakeholders.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

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.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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