The Johor state government anticipates that the state economy will continue to grow positively, with growth ranging between 4.1 and 5% in 2023, in line with the country’s modest growth trend.
Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi stated that the state’s GDP growth last year was estimated to be between 6.5 and 7.1%, one of the highest among Malaysian states.
Given the bleak global economic outlook, he said Johor would be looking to China as a major potential investor for the state in order to meet the target.
“We have met many investors from China and I see that growth can be achieved not only (from) China but also the European countries,” he told reporters after the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Invest Series: Unfolding State’s Business Potential of Johor briefing session.
In the future, he believes the state must remain focused and committed to growth.
Onn Hafiz has set a lofty goal of increasing Johor’s GDP to RM260 billion by 2030, which will necessitate the state expanding at 7% annual rate from now to 2030.
“It is a tall order, but one that is not impossible if we always put our best foot forward,” he said.
To achieve the desired rate of growth, he stated that the state must improve the overall business environment and provide a conducive ecosystem to attract and retain quality investments, as well as attract and retain talent.
In terms of total approved investments for 2022, Johor reached an all-time high of RM70.6 billion, the highest in the country, with these investments creating approximately 12,000 jobs in the manufacturing, services, and primary sectors.
Meanwhile, MIDA CEO Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman stated that the government has made significant efforts to improve the efficiency and ease of doing business, with MIDA’s Project Acceleration and Coordination Unit (Pacu@MIDA) providing professional expert assistance to investors.
He stated that Pacu@MIDA has facilitated over 4,000 manufacturing projects to date, which has benefited Johor.
As of November 2022, 759 of the 953 approved projects, or 80%, had been successfully implemented.
MIDA works to promote the digital technology sector, which includes data centres, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, creative and digital content, and solution providers, as the country’s leading investment promotion and development agency.
“Our efforts are supported by the MyDigital blueprint, which targets RM70 billion in digital investment by 2025, contributing 22.6 per cent to the country’s GDP and creating half a million job opportunities,” he said.