Singapore and Malaysia to Form Joint Special Economic Zone in 2024

November 2023

During the 10th Singapore-Malaysia Leader’s Retreat held in Singapore in late October 2023, both countries announced the aim to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in 2024. To facilitate the process, it was announced that there was an ongoing feasibility study to determine investor interest and market demand. The SEZ is expected to help improve cross-border goods flows, which might include special tax arrangements and bonded warehouses; and the flow of people who work on both sides.

It is set to be established within Malaysia’s Iskandar development region, an area located in Southwest Johor, with progress in areas such as electronics, healthcare, and financial industries as well as business-related services. Known as an investment corridor, the Iskandar region is one of five existing investment corridors developed by Malaysia, with the others focused on areas such as tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, education, health and others.

Apart from the Johor-Singapore SEZ, both countries will collaborate on developing joint renewables capacity and facilitating cross-border electricity trading, such as sharing of low-carbon and renewable energy technologies, carbon capture and storage, and carbon credits. Singapore has also indicated interest in importing renewable energy from Sarawak, a state in Malaysia, through the use of cross-border power cables to enable electricity exchange.

(Sources: Straits Times, ASEAN Briefing)

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