Over 9 in 10 Singapore firms keen to invest in proposed SEZ in Johor, but concerns remain: SBF survey

The companies also suggested other improvements, such as investing in successful multi-modal connectivity and creating increased border crossing hubs with automatic certification using biometrics. &nbsp,

Additionally, the report emphasised renewed interests within Malaysia to develop the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail ( HSR ) project and to enhance last-mile connectivity within the SEZ. &nbsp,

The 350km-long HSR job, which may go up to a rate of 350km/h, was first proposed in 2013 and led to a binding contract inked in Dec 2016 with an objective to have the line operating by 2026.

However, it was immediately halted following numerous postponements at Malaysia’s ask and a possible termination of a deal in December 2020.

Malaysia paid more than S$ 102 million ( US$ 76.46 million ) in compensation to Singapore for the terminated project.

After Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s victory in the 2022 general elections and his recent trip to Singapore where he met with Singapore officials, talk of a revival of the job grew.

In a statement released on August 3, 2013, acting transport secretary Chee Hong Tat, Singapore’s acting transport secretary, stated that the country would” start from a fresh slate” when it discussed any new proposals from Malaysia for the KL-SG HSR job in good faith.

At the approaching 11th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders ‘ Retreat later this month, Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong in June stated that the Republic is open to new ideas, including proposals for the HSR project. &nbsp,


The findings revealed that 55 % of businesses reported difficulties with handling tax issues, and 48 % claimed that faster cargo clearance would be essential to facilitating the efficient flow of goods. &nbsp, &nbsp,

In light of these observations, SBWG suggested putting in place streamlined customs and frontier certification procedures, harmonising taxes and tariff laws, creating included transportation networks and logistics infrastructure, as well as promoting digitalization and e-commerce support. &nbsp,

The survey also revealed that the current regulatory framework for purchase facilitation between Singapore and Johor was divided and complicated, with companies reporting challenges to obtaining the necessary permits and licenses. &nbsp,

According to the findings, 33 % of firms desired a platform to facilitate collaboration and networking opportunities for each other for self-help and support, while 58 % of firms desired a mutual investment promotion firm to promote the region and foster investment proposal. &nbsp, &nbsp,

SBWG suggested streamlined funding approval processes, providing interesting tax incentives, developing strong legal and regulatory frameworks, offering comprehensive business facilitation services, and enhancing the interoperability of monetary systems.

Meanwhile, the Malaysia-Singapore Business Council ( MSBC ) on Thursday expressed its support for the proposed JS-SEZ.

At its joint meeting on Thursday at the SBF Center in Singapore, MSBC stated that the group’s discussions were aimed at advancing the group’s shared goals, discovering new opportunities through the creation of the JS-SEZ in Johor, as well as addressing issues in the global economy.

The proposed JS-SEZ will promote cooperation and promote sustainable growth, according to Dr. Robert Yap, the co-chair of the joint meeting and the YCH Group’s executive chairman.

” We are confident that this initiative will boost regional competitiveness, create high-quality jobs, and enhance innovation.

By utilizing our combined strengths and encouraging cross-border synergies, Dr. Yap predicted that we would create a resilient economic landscape that benefits businesses and communities, paving the way for a prosperous and interconnected future.

His co-chair, Dr Nik Norzrul Thani, added:” The MSBC reiterates its strong support of the JS-SEZ as a driver of economic development and regional cooperation. We are committed to fostering strong economic collaboration between Malaysia and Singapore and believe in the transformative impact of this initiative.

The MSBC, which was established in 2004 to promote business and investment activities between the two nations, continues to serve as a” collaboration platform” for the business communities of Singapore and Malaysia to launch projects that will be mutually beneficial and look into joint opportunities.