JOHOR BAHRU, May 15 — Country Garden Pacific View’s Industrialised Building System (IBS) facility in Johor is set to become the world’s largest IBS factory with a total investment of RM2.6 billion, incorporating technologies from Germany, Italy and China.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said once completed, it would help the nation reduce dependency on foreign labour, besides become more productive and efficient, as well as cut down the completion period of a project.
“Currently, three lines are in operations, while the rest are in the test run stages and by June 2017, there will be a total of 12 lines in operations.
“One of the significant spillovers is in terms of technology transfer. For example, if a project takes two to three years to complete, with IBS, it can be done at a much faster pace.
“We will also have a more productive, efficient, sustainable and safer construction industry in Malaysia,” he told a press conference after chairing a roundtable meeting with 12 industry players in Johor at Forest City, here today.
Mustapa said the development was in line with Malaysia’s aspirations to become a high-income nation by adopting smart technologies and processes, including automation.
“It is also a practice that the government is aggressively encouraging, aside from promoting incentives. It is not new to some parts of the world, but it is quite new to Malaysia, and we have given the manufacturing licence and try to see in which parts we can contribute to them.
“One of the conditions that we have imposed on them before is that they must use 100% local material, but they have appealed to us because that is impossible for the reason that the machinery comes from Germany, Italy and China.
“Malaysia does not produce these machines so I think it is a reasonable request,” he added.
There were 63 IBS projects nationwide since 1990 with investments amounting to RM1.9 billion.
The Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) and the Construction Industry Development Board are currently working together to produce the IBS and Building Materials Supply Chain Directory 2017/ 2018.
These on-going efforts were further complemented with tax incentives from MIDA in the form of either Pioneer Status or Investment Tax Allowance under Income Tax (Exemption) (No. 11 or 12) Order 2006 [P.U. (A) 112/2006 or 113/2006], Income Tax Act 1967.
Mustapa also said that Forest City, which was optimistic about its growth prospects, was going to invest another RM5 billion this year.
“Forest City has been very bullish about their prospects in Malaysia. So far they had invested RM4.6 billion on this first island, and I understand that this year they are investing another RM5 billion and by the end of the year Forest City would have a total of investment at RM9.6 billion.
“They’ve highlighted to me that the spillover effects of the investment in terms of employment in the next 20 years. They expect to create 240,000 jobs on the island and 20,000 construction jobs. Currently, they have about 800 people working over here in the office and hotels,” he said.
Mustapa said 70% of permanent jobs in Forest City were offered to Malaysians, thus allaying claims that the metropolis would become another China’s city or the jobs catered only to foreigners.
On information gathered from the roundtable meeting, Mustapa said Johor was expected to get over RM1 billion in foreign and domestic investments from various industries, such as textiles, electrical and electronic, and food industries in two years’ time.
On its part, the federal government will help reduce whatever complications Johor may face, he said, adding that, “That is why MIDA, the Iskandar Regional Development Authority and the Johor State Investment Centre are working closely together.”