“This is a historic occasion not only for Country Garden, but also Malaysia, and most importantly for Iskandar and local people. We are confident that Forest City project will immensely benefit our local economy, creating jobs and new business opportunities for all.” Datuk Md. Othman Haji Yusof, Executive Director of Country Garden Pacificview, said in his opening speech.
Duty-Free Zone Status Expected To Boost Forest City’s Position
A newly planned urban cluster of commerce and culture, Forest City, in southern Malaysia adjacent to Singapore can change the regional circumstances. The envisaged 20 years multiphase project probably opens up great opportunities for growth and the Malaysian economy in the future. It aims to generate economic growth through eight industries: Tourism & MICE (Meetings Incentives Conventions Events), health care, regional headquarters, education and training, near-shore finance, e-commerce service base in ASEAN, application of emerging technique and service center, and sectors related to a green and smart city. In order to make Forest City Malaysia attractive to investors, the Federal Government of Malaysia proclaimed a duty-free zone status and a set of economic incentives for the doubtless largest mixed-use green development and joint venture project in South-East Asia.
“To ensure the success of Forest City, I am pleased to declare duty-free zone area at Forest City, enabling local residents, businesses and tourists to benefit from the work, live and play environment.” says Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak at the grand opening ceremony of Forest City on 6 March 2016.
Other economic stimuli are corporate tax incentives for qualified companies or companies with Iskandar Development Region status involved in tourism and MICE, education and health care. Also corporate tax incentives for Green Developer and Green Development Manager and a waiver on company equity restriction for foreign investors to claim these incentives were announced.
This are beneficial preconditions in order to create the expected 220,000 jobs for Malaysians in the finance and e-commerce sector in Forest City Malaysia. Additionally, Forest City achieved Iskandar Development Region (IDR) status development for tourism and MICE, education and health care sectors. It means a five-year tax exemption or 100% investment tax allowance of the capital expenditure against 100% of statutory income.
Several memorandums of understanding with globally renowned partners allegedly have been signed. This also includes Shattuck St. Mary’s School and UIW/Christus, the fourth largest medical group in the US, to collaborate on international schooling and to provide residents with world-class medical services. End of 2016, the first duty-free shopping mall will be ready to welcome shoppers at the Fisherman’s Wharf on Island 1 of Forest City. It provides a wide range of leading international brands and products.
“With Forest City gazetted as a duty-free zone, it has boosted Forest City’s position as an international destination and put Iskandar Johor on the world map. It is also in line with our vision to enhance the prosperity of Forest City to upgrade the infrastructure within the region with the available incentives to help create a vibrant city.” Mr Mo Bin [莫斌], Chief Executive Officer of Country Garden Holdings, said.
Freehold apartments and high-rise coastal residences under the Island 1 of Forest City are open to public preview. It is also possible to book them in Singapore, China and Malaysia. These residences are located in car free avenues with gated security. The sizes of the apartments range from 753 to 1,862 square feet.
The recently presented master plan of Forest City has been designed by Sasaki Associates. It envisages a 20 years urban multiphase project which will span over 1,386 hectares. It is an artificial city placed on four man-made islands on Malaysian territory and linked with a bridge the powerhouse Singapore. A compact and walkable mixed-use metropolis with a variety of civic, cultural, and recreational amenities set within a lush tropical landscape. Against this backdrop, together with Singapore it could become a cross-border megacity.