Medini developer stepping up efforts to attract investments

The developer of Medini, the flagship site under Malaysia’s Iskandar Development Region in Johor, is stepping up efforts to attract investments.

A sales and marketing programme will officially kick off in the first half of 2011, in neighbouring Singapore and one of the key targets will be small and medium enterprises.

The company in charge of developing the site, will also look at other ways to boost investor confidence in the project, such as addressing security concerns.

A new hospital by a subsidiary of Parkway Holdings is one of the latest projects to have signed on at Medini. Other projects on the cards include Asia’s first Legoland and a proposed wellness village.

The deal, worth more than US$150 million, takes the total investment in the wider Iskandar region to over US$20 billion.

Medini’s developer, Global Capital & Developments (GCD), is optimistic about more deals coming through next year.

Keith Martin, CEO of GCD, said: “We’ve seen how businesses are probably more now ready to take advantage of low interest rates, we see a lot more interest in investment from Singapore to Malaysia. We’re reaching new heights of investment, I think it was over 1.3 billion in this year alone between Singapore and Malaysia.”

And to attract more investments, GCD will be kicking off a series of meetings and workshops with the Singapore Business Federation and SMEs in the first half of 2011. The marketing programme will then expand beyond Singapore to other countries like Indonesia.

The company believes the Iskandar region will be an attractive option for Singapore companies to house their backend and support operations. This is because of potential savings from tax incentives and lower operating costs.

“Costs of doing business are rising in Singapore, that has added an extra challenge to the next phase of growth for Singapore. Land scarcity is also a challenge so we like to think that we can offer assistance to Singapore’s next phase of growth. We have land, we have a lower cost base and we still offer proximity to Singapore, and we offer access to the growing Malaysia economy as well,” said Mr Martin.

GCD will also be working with authorities to address other investor concerns.

Mr Martin said: “When we speak to anybody about where we are, in southern Malaysia. It’s not uncommon for people to ask the question about how do you approach security. It’s actually the challenge is crime, crime prevention. Malaysian government at the central level, as well as state level, are deploying a lot of policies and programmes to address crime and look at crime prevention.”

“We will speak very closely with government agencies and related agencies to see what can we do in terms of security planning using technology within design of new towns to monitor people’s movements to ensure that there’s a safe environment for everyone that lives and works in Medini.”

GCD said that to help develop the site, it will also be looking at opportunities to participate as a joint-venture partner.

It will also offer advisory and management services to smaller firms.

GCD is a joint venture consortium comprising Mubadala Development Company, Unity Capital, ALDAR Properties PJSC, Malaysia Ventures and Iskandar Investment Berhad.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 27 Dec 2010

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