Have you ever wondered who is the top investor in Iskandar. Actually, it was never Singapore in the beginning. In fact, Iskandar was thought of as just another potential white elephant then. However, today, Singapore is the top investor in Iskandar. The question, why must Singapore be the top and if Singapore is not the top, should you be worried. Iskandar is right next to Singapore. In distance, it is much nearer than even my home in Damansara Damai to my office in the city centre. In duration, during jams, it may take 2 hours according to a few of my friends. If there’s no jam? Less than half an hour, even including the immigration checkpoints.
Today, Singapore is still growing despite the fact that it is already considered a developed city state. To continue this growth, it needs to boost its productivity. To have a manufacturing plant within Singapore is not going to be cost effective no matter how many machines you have because the electricity is more expensive and the land cost is exorbitant. This has yet to include the salary in S$. If you have an existing factory, you can still try but building a new one or add capacity? Singapore is not even the second choice. Iskandar can provide this option.
Singapore wants to continue growing as a magnet for talents. However, can every company afford to let their talents stay in condominiums with rentals of S$8,000? Or should they be lowering the standard and let them stay in apartments or even HDB flats? I seriously think if that decision is necessary, perhaps even Horizon Hills in Iskandar is many times more suitable than the older apartments or HDB flats without much of the creature comfort facilities like even a simple swimming pool.
In Malaysia, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, said the joint-venture project between UEM Sunrise Bhd and Ascendas Pte Ltd is a great driver for more spin-off activities and win-win partnership between Malaysia and Singapore. In Singapore, Trade and Industry Minister, Lim Hng Kiang said that with Iskandar, it contributes not only to better cooperation but also the integration of both economies.
Thus, for years to come, Singapore MUST be top investor in Iskandar because if it is not, I seriously think Iskandar may not be attracting the right investors from the right country. Okay, perhaps China can beat them easily due to the sheer size of their population and investments but do remember that despite China being such a huge investor, Malaysians with our small Ringgit is still the one buying the most homes in Singapore. I think you know the reason why. Happy investing but be cautious of the potential oversupply in the medium term unless Iskandar gets even more attractive than currently.
written on 17 June 2014
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