Johor Bahru is a Malaysian town that sits just across from the border with Singapore. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in Malaysia and a part of the Iskandar metropolis. It had a seedy reputation for years before cleaning up its act and developing an impressive range of new family friendly attractions that have helped its popularity to soar.
【1】Strong Economic Growth
Iskandar Malaysia, an economic region located within Malaysia’s state of Johor, has been rapidly growing since its inception in 2006 and is primed to become the preferred international metropolis to invest, work, live and play.
Strategically located at the southernmost tip of mainland Asia and more than 3 times the size of neighboring Singapore, it sits on the world’s busiest shipping routes and is within a 6-hour reach of major Asian cities through the Senai International Airport.
With the backing of Singapore and Malaysia’s governments, Iskandar is anticipated to transform into a thriving production and technology hub just like what happened to China’s Shenzhen, Hong Kong’s neighbors. This development has attracted a lot of investment, mainly from Singapore, China, United States and Japan.
【2】Stable & Investor-Friendly State Government
The Johor state has a very stable and pro-business government who is constantly looking to partner with investors to bring economic development to the state. As a result, the Johor state has been the highest recipient of investment in the country since 2010. For the first sixth months of 2016, the state managed to attract RM5.4 billion of investment, nearly double the second highest ranked state in Malaysia. Johor has high growth potential and rapid development which investors can leverage on and hence, investors are encouraged to invest in the state to enjoy first mover advantage.
Being one of the largest states in Malaysia, Johor is well positioned to exploit this advantage in offering greenfield development solutions to potential investors. This greenfield development solution will enable investors to constantly search for new growth ideas by conducting active research, sharing research ideas, encouraging new business models, and promoting an innovative culture.
Johor also has a wide economy base, from low value-adding to high-value adding industries, supported by well-established infrastructure. The cost of doing business is extremely competitive and is 30% lower and Kuala Lumpur and 60% lower than Singapore.
Within an eight-hour flight radius, Johor is connected to three of the world’s major economies; China, India, and Japan, apart from having access to a total of more than three billion population from various cities in South East Asia and parts of Asia Pacific. There are three major seaports including the Pasir Gudang Port, Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) and Tanjung Langsat Port, thus making it a suitable location for manufacturing and exporting, allowing smooth transfer of cargo between one place to another. Besides, Johor is accessible by two international airports, which are Senai Airport as well as Changi Airport. All these has contributed to the fact that Johor is the only state that is home to two out of the five economic corridors in Malaysia: Iskandar Malaysia and the East Coast Economic Region.
Over the years, its proximity to Singapore has allowed it to develop strong economic linkages particularly in the sectors of electrical and electronics, food, and agriculture as well as coordination. Located between the two international financial hubs of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, Johor Bahru is strategically positioned to be a Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Business (FIREB) hub for the region. The proposed High-Speed Rail (HSR) between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore via Nusajaya in Iskandar Malaysia and the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link from Singapore to Iskandar Malaysia will help to spur more economic linkages focusing on tourism, healthcare, education and business services between Iskandar Malaysia and Singapore soon.
【4】Global Education Hub
Johor is poised to be the new education hub in Malaysia. Strategically located at the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia, Johor is ready to attract students from all over the world. There are 14 international schools, together with numerous existing highly reputable local educational institutions such as University of Technology Malaysia and University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia.
Since 2012, many prestigious schools such as Marlborough College Malaysia, Raffles American School, St. Mary’s Forest City International School, Reading University and University of Southampton have set up campuses in this education hub, which is in EduCity. Today, there are more than 16,000 students from all over the world are currently enrolled in these universities and schools at EduCity.
【5】Quality Lifestyle in Johor Bahru
The Sultan of Johor has been working for years to constantly improve the living environment to create a city where foreigners would like to live. Over the years, security in general has been improved and will further be enhanced.
Medical and educational facilities are rapidly being built. Johor Bahry is envisioned as a vibrant hub comprising medical facilities such as general hospital, specialist hospital, community hospital and long-term care facilities. A few major hospitals in Johor Bahru includes Gleneagles Hospital Medini Johor, Sultanah Aminah Hospital, KPJ Puteri Specialist Hospital and Columbia Asia Hospital.
Besides, since 2018, Johor Bahru has gradually increased its number of large shopping malls such as IKEA, Paradigm Mall, R&F Mall, Valley Mid Southkey, Toppen Shopping Centre, Beletime Danga Bay and Sunway Big Box to provide more convenience for the residents and attract more tourists to visit Johor Bahru. In recent years, more urbanization has attract many Singaporeans to visit Johor Bahru, which has a lower cost of living, and all items are 3x lesser than it in Singapore due to currency exchange. Singaporeans love to come over to Johor Bahru to shop for daily necessities, hair salons, massages, and send their children for tuition classes during the weekends and holiday seasons. The number of fashionable cafes and restaurants are also increasing year by year, which attract more tourists and youngsters to spend their free time chilling at these cafes.