Selangor Journal
Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli (second, right) shakes hand with Singaporean Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong (second, left) after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the proposed Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ), witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (right) and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong at the DoubleTree Hilton hotel in Johor, January 11, 2023. — Picture by BERNAMA

Passport-free clearance system, one stop centre among Johor-Singapore economic zone’s initiatives

JOHOR BAHRU, Jan 11 — Malaysia and Singapore are set to explore several initiatives for the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ).

According to a joint statement by the Economy Ministry and Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, the initiatives include establishing a one-stop business and investment centre in Johor to facilitate the application processes for various approvals and licenses necessary for Singapore businesses to set up in Johor.

The parties said the JS-SEZ will ride on Johor’s strong growth and Singapore’s significant investments in the region.

In 2022, Johor recorded RM70.6 billion worth of investments across various sectors, including electrical and electronics, medical equipment, food manufacturing and data centres.

Meanwhile, Singapore was Johor’s second-largest foreign investor from January to June 2022, and accounted for around 70 per cent of Johor’s total foreign direct investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sector.

Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said the JS-SEZ presents an unprecedented opportunity to enhance the cross-border flow of goods and people, bolster the business ecosystem and enhance the economic attractiveness of both Johor and Singapore.

“I have full confidence that this initiative will herald the commencement of a transformative chapter in our bilateral economic relations, fostering unparalleled connectivity and prosperity for both our great nations,” he added.

According to the statement, an adoption of a passport-free QR code clearance system on both sides would also be on the card to facilitate more expeditious clearance of people at land checkpoints.

The list also includes digitised processes for cargo clearance at land checkpoints as well as the facilitation of Malaysia-Singapore renewable energy cooperation to drive economic growth.

Singapore Minister of Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said the JS-SEZ would serve as a bridge for both countries to tap into each other’s strengths and seize opportunities to grow together.

“I look forward to the JS-SEZ agreement and the benefits for our businesses and people,” he added.

In 2022, Malaysia and Singapore were each other’s second-largest trading partners, with bilateral trade growing by 18.9 per cent year-on-year to SGD$153 billion (SGD$1=RM3.48).

Singapore was also Malaysia’s top source of FDI, accounting for 20.5 per cent of Malaysia’s total FDI in 2022.

— Bernama

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