JOHOR BAHARU, May 13 (Bernama) -- Iskandar Malaysia is still on the radar

of investors from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries despite

the ongoing political turmoil affecting the region, says Iskandar Region

Development Authority Chief Executive Ismail Ibrahim.

He said the instability in the Middle-East presented an opportunity for

investors in the oil-rich region to spread their investments abroad including

Iskandar Malaysia.

"Thus, the GCC - United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait are still our

targeted countries. There is still strong interest from the GCC countries to be

present in Iskandar Malaysia, although, this interest is yet to translate into

additional investments," he told Bernama here recently.

Ismail also said, to date, Middle Eastern investors were planning initial

committed development in Medini, located within the Nusajaya development zone,

one of the five flagship zones in Iskandar Malaysia.

On investments in Iskandar Malaysia since it''s launch in 2006 until March

this year, he said the economic corridor had recorded a cumulative

committed investment of RM73.24 billion.

Of the total, local investments accounted for 59 per cent or RM43.29 billion

while foreign investments made up the remaining 41 per cent or RM29.95 billion.

"The is a slow shift from being dependent on foreign investments, the

majority of investments are coming from local sources," said Ismail, adding that

the investment figures were a reflection of the confidence domestic investors

had in Iskandar Malaysia.

He said the new trend also dispelled the perception that domestic investors

were not buying into Iskandar Malaysia or that there was any discrimination or

favouritism towards foreign investors.

Ismail also said investments worth RM28.25 billion were approved for

manufacturing projects followed by RM24.26 billion in properties, RM6.28 billion

(government), RM2.90 billion (utilities), RM1.47 billion (tourism) and

RM10.08 billion (others).

"Approximately 40.1 per cent or RM29.35 billion of these investments were

already spent and progress on the developments were on schedule," he added.



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