Posts tagged SEZ
Two big wins for the Philippines’ Clark International Airport: FedEx will return to the Philippines and plans to use the airport as its hub, while surging low-cost carrier AirAsia will build a passenger base there for its new local affiliate, AirAsia Philippines.
At 2,367-hectares, Clark International Airport is about four times the size of Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, about 90 minutes’ drive away. It is located within the Clark Freeport Zone and industrial area on the site of a former US military base.
AirAsia Philippines plans to start flying in October to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Bangkok with a fleet of four aircraft, before expanding out to other Asian destinations. Its parent company, AirAsia, already flies between Clark and Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, which will continue alongside the new services.
FedEx’s main Asian hub is at Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, and is the company’s largest outside the United States. Before relocating there, it operated out of another Philippines economic zone (and former US base) at Subic Bay but found itself unable to expand operations to meet customer demand. The loss of FedEx was a blow to the Subic Bay and administrator Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, which lost 600 jobs and around P160 million (US$3.76 million) a year in revenues.
The Philippines Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said investment in its special economic zones was worth P70 billion ($1.66 billion) as of this year. That’s a 38% growth on the previous year, and PEZA has a target of a further 10% growth this year on the back of growing confidence.
PEZA manages over 240 special economic zones across the Philippines, from areas the size of former US military bases to single buildings. PEZA-accredited zones have access to favorable investment conditions like tax holidays, relaxation of planning and other regulations, and easy access to trained staff and business services. The zones are aimed at export industries, usually in manufacturing or technology.
Initially popular in China and India, other countries have seen the benefits and zones with special economic conditions now operate in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. Trade bodies like JETRO in Japan routinely conduct surveys into special zones in different countries and supply the information to potential investors.
PEZA director-general Lilia De Lima said the Philippines had a healthy supply of qualified engineers and remained cost-competitive compared to other free zones in Asia. The zones had created 790,831 new Filipino jobs, up 17.7% on last year’s figures.
source & article: philstar.com
Like many emerging countries in the region and around the world, Malaysia understands that economic development regions can be great drivers of growth if done properly. While Johor’s Iskandar Malaysia has been getting most of the press recently, there are also plans to transform four other regions around the country.
They are: Georgetown and the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER); Kuantan and the East Coast Economic Region (ECER); Kuching and the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE); and Kota Kinabalu and Sabah Development Corridor (SDC). Plans to focus on these regions have existed for at least four years, but the government’s Performance & Delivery Unit (Pemandu) is accelerating efforts with specific transformation programmes and investigative laboratories to take them to the next level of growth.
Pemandu said “The Regional Cities and Economic Corridors Transformation Programmes will build on the excellent work done to-date. It will take the development achieved to-date to the next level to build out regional and global hubs in their economic areas of specialization.”
While Southern Malaysia’s Iskandar zone continues to impress with rising property prices and shiny development proposals, the other end of the country is also drawing its share of investments. The Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), which spans Perlis, Kedah, Seberang Perai on mainland Penang and northern Perak, has recorded RM3.3 billion (US$1.09 billion) in new investments for the first four months of 2011. That’s already looking healthy against 2010′s total of RM6.08 billion ($2.02 billion), and is a vast improvement on 2008-09′s RM1.4 billion ($464 million).
About 50% of this year’s investment is from domestic sources, in the key areas of logistics, commercial agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. The region also focuses on high tech industries.
The development region is overseen by the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA), which recently showcased investment opportunities in the four key areas in Kuala Lumpur. If NCER lives up to expectations, it will lift the region’s share of Gross National Income (GNI) to RM13.3 billion ($4.41 billion) by 2020 and generate thousands of high skilled jobs.
The Iskandar Malaysia Special Economic Zone project is already benefiting the economy and people of Johor “profoundly”, said the state’s Menteri Besar (Chief Executive) Abdul Ghani Othman. Since Iskandar’s beginnings just five years ago, it has delivered to the region increased demand, higher wages, greater business opportunities and a higher standard of living.
Special attention from the federal and state governments has helped too. Under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) Johor state received RM6.83 billion (US$2.25 billion) in federal funds to improve infrastructure and other public amenities, while its current successor the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP) has promised another RM1.39 billion ($459.9 million) between now and 2015. The state government responded with RM313.33 million ($103.5 million) of its own in 2010.
Almost all the funds went towards improving economic efficiency, accessibility and connectivity. Highway improvements alone took advantage of Iskandar Malaysia’s location between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, allowing it to attract big name and ‘prestige projects’ like the Legoland theme park. Ghani said the property sector in particular has seen a sharp increase in demand, restarting projects stalled after the financial crisis and creating higher-end development opportunities in locations like Danga Bay.
As another sign of its commitment, Johor state relocated its administrative functions to a new development at Kota Iskandar, Nusajaya City, in 2009. The federal government also located its local departments there as part of the Johor State New Administrative Centre (JSNAC), a 1.3 sq km development complete with public plazas, gardens and parks.
source & article: New Straits Times via CBC BNet
The CEO of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda), Ismail Ibrahim, said he was ‘glad’ at the level of knowledge and interest of Iskandar Malaysia in the European Union. Attending a meeting of the Asean-EU Business Council in Singapore, he said European investors were interested to hear which sectors were available to them and added that Irda will organize more investment roadshows to spread the message.
Irda would also arrange a tour of major sites in Iskandar Malaysia’s 2,217 sq km for locally-based European businesspeople. The special economic zone has attracted RM73 billion in investments so far, with foreign direct investment FDI already coming from EU members the United Kingdom, France, Spain and the Netherlands.
The day’s events also included a European Day Celebration luncheon for the EU’s 60th anniversary organized by the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham). 200 business leaders from Asean and the EU attended, along with guest of honor Malaysian International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed.
source & article: The Star Online
Drive north from Singapore across the Johor Causeway, into Malaysia’s second largest city Johor Bahru, and keep going. You’re now in Senai-Skudai, the heart of Iskandar Malaysia. Iskandar is the special economic region marked for rapid development as an Asian commercial hub and, like Guangdong did for Hong Kong and China, it wants to leverage its prime location and local skills base to fire the Malaysian economy over the coming decades. One development hoping to play a significant part in that progress is Senai Hi-Tech Park (SHTP).
Senai Hi-Tech Park, according to its developers, is “an integrated Science and Technology Park offering an ideal location, superb infrastructure with a service rich-environment”, matching Malaysia’s technological skills with innovative companies and research institutions from around the world. Part of the Senai Airport City development, SHTP will eventually form part of a vital technology and logistics hub connected almost instantly to major markets around the world.
At the moment it’s full more of promise and potential than activity, with Stage One of a three-stage project still under construction. But there’s an undeniable hum in the air and the Park has already signed on some major international investors: EQ Solar will build a US$500 million facility to manufacture monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar modules. MOX-Linde Gases will build an industrial gas manufacturing and separation plant, and South Korea’s STX Energy has launched a feasibility study into a solar cell facility. (more…)
CEO of Malaysia’s Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) Ismail Ibrahim says the Iskandar Malaysia development region can achieve its target of RM73 billion (US$24.6 billion) in new investments between January 2011 the end of 2015, despite additional challenges.
In fact it’s already ahead of projections, with RM69.48 billion in new investments by December 2010 beating the RM47 billion target. Add figures from this year and Iskandar Malaysia has brought in RM73.24 billion since the project’s genesis in November 2006. 59% are domestic investments and 41% from foreign sources, with 41% of the foreign pledges already spent.
Ismail said IRDA would focus on big regional investors like Japan, South Korea, China, India and Asean, rather than early targets Europe and the Middle East. He added the global investment climate was ever-changing, though, so there were “no hard and fast rules” for IRDA in its quest for foreign investment.
Main industries committed to Iskandar Malaysia are the manufacturing sector (RM28.25 bil/$9.5 bil), properties (RM24.26 bil/$8.17 bil), and government (RM6.28 bil/$2.1 bil). Smaller contributors were utilities and tourism. IRDA, in partnership with the government-backed Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB) is chasing ‘quality investments’ in tune with Malaysia’s development ambitions for the 2,217 sq km special economic zone in Southern Johor. Industries of particular interest are electronics, healthcare, higher-end manufacturing, R&D and tourism.
source & article: The Star Online
New Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and industrial clusters based around regional commodity centers will take Indonesia’s GDP up to US$1 trillion and over by 2014, says the government. They also want to boost Indonesians’ per capita share of Gross National Product (GNP) from the current $3,000 to $5,000 or $5,500.
New economic policies aim to attract yet more overseas investment through the creation of Special Economic Zones. The department of Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa is scouting the country’s regions to identify potential ‘growth centers’ and so far, they have marked five regions: Riau, North Sumatra, East Kalimantan, East Java and Merauke based on their respective strengths. The first three show potential for the crude palm oil industry, while the latter two show promise in oil, gas and agriculture development.
The government has calculated Indonesia’s current GDP at $700,000 and the economy is growing at a rate of 5.8% to 6.1%. Indonesia has set a target of up to 7.7% growth by 2014, and wants the country to take its place among the four so-called ‘BRIC’ economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, often predicted to be the world’s largest by 2050.
source & article: The Jakarta Post