ISKANDAR PUTERI, Nov 22 — The Johor Economic, Tourism and Cultural Office (JETCO), poised to be a bridge to further strengthen Johor-Singapore relations, will be physically opened in the republic in the first quarter of next year.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ir Hasni Mohammad said activities and engagement with public and private stakeholders are ongoing and will be intensified with the physical opening of JETCO.

“The state government believes that JETCO’s presence in Singapore will be a catalyst towards efforts to boost economic activities between Johor and Singapore, as well as being a bridge to reinforce cultural and tourism relations that have been established,” he said during the 14th State Legislative Assembly here today.

JETCO is one of the seven state initiatives (Tujuh Ikhtiar Makmur Johor) announced in June last year to help the state recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hasni was replying to an oral question from Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kota Iskandar) who wanted to know how much impact the initiatives have had in Johor’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery process.

Touching on the New Economic Alignment, Hasni (Umno-Benut) said conceptually, it was to benefit from the spillover opportunities from the implementation of the Johor Bahru-Singapore High Speed Rail project.

“Although the construction has been discontinued, Johor can still enjoy the economic spillover effects from the construction of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) and Gemas-Johor Bahru Electrified Double Tracking projects.

“Both mega-projects will have a positive impact on various economic sectors in Johor and directly make Johor’s transportation infrastructure more mature and comprehensive,” he said.

Replying to Dzulkefly’s supplementary question on the rationale for the proposed Ibrahim Johor Economic Council (IJEC) to use investment advisory advice, Hasni said this is part of the state government’s effort to bring investments into Johor.

“The appointment of investment consultants is not meant to dismiss or imply a weakness in the investment efforts made by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority or the International Trade and Industry Ministry (but) it is part of our efforts to attract investments into Johor.

“Johor is of the view that we cannot just depend on the existing system, but Johor has its own strengths. The appointment of investment consultants for focusing on China and Middle East, for example, is due to the different pandemic (issues), climate and investor appetite that require a reference or early study before making investments,” he added.


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