Politics

Malaysia, Singapore agree to develop joint special economic zone

Bangkok, Jan 11 (EFE).- Malaysia and Singapore agreed Thursday to jointly develop a special economic zone in the Malaysian state of Johor, in the south of the country, to allow greater freedom of movement of goods and people and attract investors.

The memorandum of understanding, signed in Johor by Malaysian Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli and Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong, states that both nations will work toward a comprehensive agreement with the aim of “reaffirming economic cooperation.”

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian counterpart Anwar Ibrahim were also present at the signing.

In addition to the ease of mobility of people and goods on both sides of the border, both countries agreed to strengthen their cooperation in renewable energies.

Rafizi said the zone offers “an unprecedented opportunity to develop the cross-border flow of goods and people, support the business ecosystem and raise the economic attractiveness of both Johor and Singapore.”

“This initiative (…) will foster unparalleled connectivity and prosperity for our two great nations,” he added.

Lee and Anwar also attended the inauguration of a new train line between the Malaysian city of Johor Bahru and Singapore that will have the capacity to transport 10,000 passengers per hour and will begin operating in 2026.

Malaysia is Singapore’s second largest trading partner (and vice versa), with bilateral exchange growing 18.9 percent year-on-year in 2022, reaching $115 billion. EFE

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