SINGAPORE, Oct 22 — Competitively priced land and low water tariffs for industry are the main drawcards for foreign investors to choose Melaka as an investment destination, says a state executive councillor.

“With these advantages we can make Melaka a prime industrial area,” Melaka Industry, Trade and Investment Committee chairman told Bernama and TV3 here today.

He was asked what Melaka can offer over other states in Malaysia to attract foreign investors especially in heavy industry.

Mohd Rafiq, who is leading a three-day state government investment mission to the republic, was met after witnessing the launch of the Malaysia Pavilion by Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore, Datuk Zainol Rahim Zainuddin.

Mohd Rafiq said Melaka’s strategic location mid-way between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and its proximity to the two main ports of Port Klang and Port of Tanjung Pelepas are also drawcards.

“We also have our own port, Tanjung Bruas Port, which is being expanded,” he said.

The port, which will be commercially developed at a cost of RM160 million, is set to be on par with Port of Tanjung Pelepas and Port Klang.

Mohd Rafiq added that the state is also working to add new routes connecting the Melaka International Airport to other cities.

Bernama has been made to understand that Melaka will focus on routes taking four hours, including those covering China and Southeast Asia.

Melaka is also in talks about flights to Jakarta and Surabaya in Indonesia.

Mohd Rafiq said several existing investors are remaining in the state and expanding their operations such as Panasonic, SunPower, Texas Instruments and Honda.

On the investment mission that ends tomorrow, Mohd Rafiq said a Singapore-based French company that produces oil palm-based animal feed has expressed an interest in opening a new RM200 million plant in Melaka that would create 200 to 300 new jobs, and plans to come to Melaka on Nov 18-19 to look at a suitable 24-acre (9.7-hectare) site.

“f they agree, we will expedite the project approval process,” he said.

The mission comprises nine state government officials, including Deputy State Secretary (Development) Datuk Salhah Salleh, Melaka State Development Corporation (PKNM) chief executive officer Ridhuan Affandi Abu Bakar, Kumpulan Melaka Bhd (KMB) chief executive officer Hasrul Hassan, and Invest Melaka senior manager Hairulzamani Othman.

— BERNAMA

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