S'pore remains biggest foreign investor in Iskandar

By Cheryl Tay:

The Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) announced that Singapore's cumulative investments in Iskandar Malaysia (pictured) increased by more than a third in the first seven months of 2012.

According to a report by The Business Times, the country's cumulative investments in Iskandar stood at RM6.15 billion (S$2.46 billion), up from last year's RM4.56 billion (S$1.82 billion), which translates to a total committed capital flow of RM1.59 billion (S$635 million), or 34.9 percent as of July.

The IRDA data also revealed that 77 percent of the total cumulative investments in Iskandar were in the manufacturing segment, while the rest of the capital went into the property, education and healthcare sectors.

The large increase in the investments was spurred by the region's strong performance in attracting capital with "a total cumulative investment of RM15 billion this year alone," according to Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive of IRDA.

Overall, the total cumulative investments of the region have reached RM99.79 billion (S$ 39.83 billion) in various sectors, of which 63 percent or RM62.7 billion (S$25.03 billion) are domestic investments, while the remaining 37 percent are foreign investments.

IRDA noted that Singapore has been the largest foreign investor in the region as of July 2012, accounting for 16.58 percent of investments and beating Japan and Spain in the process.

"In 2008, the ratio was 45 percent domestic (sources of investment) and 55 percent foreign (sources of investment). We see this shift as something positive and encouraging because while foreign investments continue to flow in, the domestic players are also ensuring they are not left behind," noted Ismail.

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