Friday, October 19, 2007

Malaysians Are Welcomed To Invest In IDR, Says Abdullah

Locals Are Welcomed To Invest In IDR, Says Abdullah
Taken from Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 9 (Bernama) -- The Iskandar Development Region (IDR) is not meant only for the foreigners, and local investors should take the opportunity to invest in the development region, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today.

"This corridor is (also) for local investors. They should also participate. We also accept proposals from local investors," he told reporters after chairing a meeting on the progress of the IDR, the development project mooted by the government in the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia.

Abdullah, who is chairman of the Iskandar Development Region Authority (IDRA), said this in response to a question if locals were welcome to invest in the region.

"We welcome local investors. There are questions being asked that we are not keen on welcoming local investors for IDR.

"This is not true. We want them to come. We have raised this matter specifically at our meeting just now."

The prime minister also said that there had been reports of local investors saying that the government was exclusively targetting foreign investors.

The government's investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, is spearheading the development in the region, and the IDRA was established to ensure the success of the project.

The IDR covers a 2,217-sq km area in southern Johor and is expected to be not only a regional but global hub for the services sector namely the creative, educational, healthcare, financial, tourism and logistics industries.

When asked whether there had been any proposals from the local investors to invest in IDR, he said: "Not specifically..., but some local investors felt that we are (only) luring foreign investors.

"This is not what it is. We are not just concentrating on foreign investors, we need local investors too," he explained.

Abdullah said the government expected the entire IDR project to come to RM40 billion.

He said the government would be coming up with RM4.2 billion and the rest will be from investments.

The government hopes to get many investors, he said, adding that many parties had shown interest to develop the Node 1 or phase one of the IDR.

Abdullah said that a number of investors had also started discussions on the investments.

IDRA would also continue to promote IDR to attract more investors, he added.

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