Discover why Malaysia needs to act swiftly to protect Forest City’s Special Financial Zone status and boost its economic potential amidst regional competition
Petaling Jaya, 1 Sept 2023 – The Malaysian government faces calls to accelerate efforts to bolster Forest City’s Special Financial Zone status to stay competitive with neighboring countries.
Southeast Asian nations such as Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand actively seek foreign investments, making Malaysia’s quick action and incentives crucial, particularly for high-net-worth individuals.
The initiative aims to stimulate development, create spillover effects, and foster opportunities for SMEs. Forest City’s potential for economic growth lies in offering a cost-effective environment compared to Singapore and other Malaysian regions, with reduced operating costs encouraging diverse economic sectors and job opportunities.
The 15% tax incentive for skilled workers could spark new industrial sectors in areas like new energy and data centers. Improved infrastructure and government incentives in Forest City are expected to benefit various sectors, including tourism, real estate, education, and health.
As the project enters its second phase, Forest City anticipates attracting more investments, contributing to regional economic growth. Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s announcement of incentives and special financial zones reinforces the government’s commitment to boosting economic activity in Johor and its surrounding areas.
Forest City, situated on four artificial islands spanning 30 sq km in the Straits of Johor, is a contentious property development project, a joint venture between China’s Country Garden Group and Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd, backed by the Johor government and sultan.