Channel NewsAsia

Ascendas' Nusajaya Tech Park breaks ground in Iskandar

The commercial property landlord's first large-scale industrial park development in Malaysia is expected to be one of the key economic drivers in Johor.

JOHOR: Singapore commercial property landlord Ascendas and its Malaysian partner, UEM Sunrise, broke ground for its Nusajaya Tech Park project at Iskandar Malaysia on Thursday (June 12).

The park - which will cater to key growth industries like precision engineering, electronics, clean manufacturing and logistics - has a projected gross development value of S$1.5 billion (RM3.7 billion). To be developed in three phases over nine years, it is expected to reap economic benefits for both Singapore and Malaysia.

Spanning 210 hectares, the integrated tech park will have ready-built facilities and land plots for build-to-suit developments. The first phase of the development is expected to be completed in 2016.

Ascendas says the selling price for the freehold project is about RM380 ringgit per square foot. For the built-to-suit, there will be different considerations, depending on the complexity of the building.

This is Ascendas' first large-scale industrial park development in Malaysia and it says the park has generated interest. Ascendas soft-launched 43 units of the ready-built factories in January, and about 40 per cent has been taken up. "Most of the interest comes from the smaller and medium-sized companies, many of them are Singapore-based companies," said President and Group CEO of Ascendas, Mr Manohar Khiatani.

Companies including Sanwa Group of Companies, YCH Group, and VADS Berhad have also indicated interest in the new tech park. Sanwa is exploring taking up a 72,000 sq ft facility for their precision engineering and manufacturing operations.

Meanwhile, YCH Group has teamed up with Nusajaya Tech Park to explore developing a state-of-the-art supply chain facility operated by the group within Iskandar Malaysia. VADS Berhad is exploring the setting up of a data centre in the park.

YCH Group told Channel NewsAsia that the Malaysia market currently accounts for 10 to 15 per cent of the company's revenue, and this proportion is set to grow with its potential presence in Nusajaya Tech Park.

The two trade ministers from Singapore and Malaysia joined stakeholders at the ground-breaking ceremony for Nusajaya Tech Park on Thursday. "This high-tech park is designed to complement operations of some companies in Singapore with companies in Malaysia. This marriage is a very strong marriage," said Mr Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia's Minister of International Trade & Industry. "It goes to show how we are committed to further develop ties between Singapore and Malaysia. This place will result in a lot of spin-off activities in Iskandar, Johor, and it will be a win-win collaboration for our two countries."

"The Nusajaya Tech Park is expected to be one of the key economic drivers in Johor," he added. "When completed, it will support some 200 companies and a business community of over 20,000 people."

Singapore's Minister of Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang called on Singapore companies seeking to venture overseas to consider Iskandar Malaysia as an option, calling the development a strategically important one for both Malaysia and Singapore.

"We have and will continue to jointly develop industries with synergistic activities in both Singapore and Iskandar Malaysia," he said. "With the right mix of industries and enhanced connectivity, there is potential for both countries to develop a seamless economic space."

Singapore is the top foreign investor in Iskandar Malaysia, with committed investments of RM 11 billion as of April this year. The special economic zone has attracted total investments of RM 138.61 billion, of which 45 per cent have been realised, according to the Iskandar Regional Development Authority. 

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