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Johor’s Forest City given duty-free status

Forest City in Johor is set to become a duty-free zone, announced Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak at the project’s opening ceremony today (6 March), which was also attended by Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.

Other packages unveiled include corporate tax incentives for qualified companies, or companies with Iskandar Development Region (IDR) status involved in the tourism, education and healthcare sectors.

Being a green development, there will also be corporate tax incentives for green developers and green development managers, and a waiver on company equity restrictions for foreign investors to claim these incentives.

Comprising four man-made islands in the Johor Strait, near the Tuas Second Link, the S$58.3 billion Forest City township is being developed by Country Garden Pacificview (CGPV), jointly owned by Chinese property giant Country Garden Holdings and Johor’s Esplanade Danga 88.

In his opening remarks, Datuk Md Othman Yusof, Executive Director of CGPV, said: “This is a historic occasion not only for Country Garden, but also Malaysia, and most importantly for Iskandar and (the) local people. We are confident that Forest City will immensely benefit our local economy, creating jobs and new business opportunities for all.”

By 2035, Forest City is expected to create 220,000 jobs for Malaysians in the finance and e-commerce sectors.

Agreements have already been signed with global partners including 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.

In addition, a duty-free shopping mall will be ready by the end of this year at Fisherman’s Wharf on Island 1, the first phase of Forest City. There will also be a five-star boutique hotel.

Meanwhile, the condominium units and high-rise coastal residences on Island 1 have already been launched for sale in Singapore, China and Malaysia. Unit sizes range from 753 sq ft to 1,862 sq ft, with prices averaging around RM1,200 psf (S$400 psf).

Forest City is Country Garden’s largest real estate project outside China. The group currently has more than 300 projects globally.

Picture Source: Artist’s impression of Forest City.
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