Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has announced the creation of a “special financial zone” within the ambitious Forest City project by Chinese developer Country Garden, valued at US$100 billion. This initiative aims to attract investments by offering incentives to potential investors. The Forest City project, situated on reclaimed islands in Johor, is intended to accommodate 700,000 residents by 2035 and will encompass not only residential buildings but also office towers, malls, schools, and more.
The move to provide incentives comes at a crucial juncture as Country Garden grapples with significant financial challenges. Forest City stands as the developer’s largest overseas undertaking, formed through a partnership with Esplanade Danga 88, a Malaysian company supported by the Johor government and Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.
The proposed incentives for Forest City include a special income tax rate of 15% aimed at skilled workers, along with the facilitation of multiple entry visas. These measures are intended to bolster the project’s appeal to potential investors. However, Country Garden has yet to respond to Reuters’ inquiry about the government’s plans.
addition to these incentives, Malaysia plans to implement a special financial zone in Forest City, aimed at reducing the overall costs associated with doing business within the project. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, quoted by Bernama, emphasized the upcoming implementation of this zone and its potential to drive business efficiency.
Meanwhile, Country Garden, China’s largest private developer, faces its own financial turmoil. Recently, the company missed two dollar coupon payments totaling US$22.5 million. This situation has raised concerns about the impact of Beijing’s ongoing property debt crisis on both the financial sector and the broader economic recovery.
Overall, Malaysia’s initiatives regarding Forest City highlight efforts to secure investment in the face of Country Garden’s financial struggles while also seeking to promote economic growth through the development of this substantial project.