Johor-Singapore’s Special Economic Zone

Further discussions will be followed by agreement on terms of reference in October: Johor MB

Johor State Legislative Assembly - image courtesy of Pejabat Jurutulis Dewan Negeri Johor Facebook page

Further talks between Malaysia and Singapore to establish a Johor-Singapore special economic zone (SEZ) will take place next month, according to Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi.

A special task force was established last July by the two nations to study the creation of the SEZ, and it is expected to report its findings to the leaders at the Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat, which is scheduled for October.

“This matter will be discussed further, and followed up with approval for the TOR by October, during the Leaders’ Retreat in Singapore, which will be attended by the Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Singapore,” he said at the 15th State Legislative Assembly meeting.

According to Onn Hafiz, the Johor-Singapore SEZ has the potential to transform Johor into a city similar to Shenzhen, which thrived after four decades as a SEZ. He noted that in only four decades, Shenzhen has grown from a small city of around 300,000 people to a high-tech international metropolis of over 17 million people.

“What Shenzhen has achieved proves that the Johor-Singapore SEZ can produce the best results for Johor. However, this matter definitely requires help and cooperation from all parties, from the Singapore government as well as the federal government,” he said.