(KUALA LUMPUR) The Malaysian state of Johor says its economic zone, which has the nation's largest number of Middle Eastern investors, should be unscathed by the Dubai debt crisis, reports said yesterday.
Dubai World, the city state's flagship conglomerate announced last Wednesday that it was seeking a six-month reprieve from its US$59 billion debt payments, sending global stocks into a nosedive on fears of a default.
Johor Chief Minister Abdul Ghani Othman told the Star daily only one Dubai company, Damac Properties, had invested in the Iskandar special economic zone.
'Since only one company from Dubai is involved in Iskandar, we don't think the Dubai financial crisis would have an effect on the regional growth area,' he told the paper. 'Most of the investors in the growth area are from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Abu Dhabi.'
He did not say how much Damac had invested in Iskandar, where the company is involved in a project on an 8 hectare site.
An aide to Mr Abdul Ghani confirmed his comments to AFP on condition of anonymity, saying the Dubai company had yet to begin operations in the area.
He said total investment for Iskandar, which was launched in 2006, had hit US$13 billion so far, with about 15 per cent coming from Middle Eastern investors.
Almost three times bigger than neighbouring Singapore, the Iskandar region will be Malaysia's largest economic zone upon completion in 2025, by which time the government hopes to have created 800,000 jobs and attracted around US$100 billion in investment. -- AFP
Source: Business Times, 30 Nov 2009