PETALING JAYA (July 3): Iskandar Puteri’s catalytic developer and lead planner Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB) wants to attract investments in agricultural technology (agritech) and emerging technologies such as drones, blockchain, artificial intelligence and virtual reality for its next phase of growth from 2022, The Edge Malaysia reported this week.
IIB CEO Datuk Khairil Anwar Ahmad told the weekly that by promoting these sectors, high value-added jobs can be created for Malaysians, especially Johor residents, while strengthening the country’s food security through agritech.
“Under Iskandar Next, we are focusing more on digital initiatives, including emerging technologies. We hope that through this program, more companies will be part of the ecosystem, establishing themselves here and therefore generating jobs and populating the region, ”said Khairil.
“If there are more workers in the area, then there will be more demand for food and drink outlets, housing, schools and hospitals,” he added.
Khairil explained that it is necessary to focus on emerging technologies as the digital transformation has been accelerated by the global Covid-19 pandemic
“There used to be a lot of international travel, but now doing business virtually is done more and more and transactions are done on screens.
“Sectors like logistics and supply chain need to change because they need to be nimble. This is why AI and VR are developing rapidly. We cannot be left behind as a country. You look at Singapore in comparison; despite the pandemic, they attracted TikTok to settle there. They attracted Zoom.
“Why? Because these companies think Singapore is a good destination for their businesses. Why can’t we attract the same companies, create the same kind of jobs? We have good infrastructure, good schools, good hospitals , a good airport. We have talent and a much lower cost to do business, “he said.
IIB also plans to launch another integrated township in Iskandar Puteri, provisionally called Integrated Sustainable Living (ISL).
ISL will cover 3,000 acres with a 500-acre mangrove forest set aside for ecotourism, research and education.
Among the sustainability characteristics are a pedestrian permeability of 83% for a pedestrian municipality, a coverage of 90% of public transport, a rainwater harvesting system for drinking and non-drinking water, solar energy and the waste recycling.
“The master plan has been approved by the state, but we have not yet decided to do it ourselves or in partnership with other developers.
“We want to do projects that can be achieved by the local population, and we also want to attract people from other states. Attracting foreigners will depend on the price range but, for now, we should focus more on our local community, ”Khairil said.
Read the full report in this week The Edge Malaysia
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