Malaysia's Large-Scale Plans For Economic Development

<p>The Malaysian government is hoping its new mega-plans for an expansive 21st Century economic hub will bring more action to the country, where other big projects have not lived up to their economic potential.</p>
May 4, 2007, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Welcome to Malaysia, where utopian megaprojects, meant to wow the world, have become a cornerstone of nation building."

"According to the Iskandar Regional Development Authority, the government plans to allocate more than 4 billion ringgit, or $1.2 billion, for the region's physical infrastructure over the five years to 2010. Government media say the target is to attract 50 billion ringgit in investment within five years, and 370 billion by 2025."

"Several ambitious earlier developments, such as the aviation hub facilities of Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the sprawling, ecologically friendly administrative capital, Putrajaya, are operating well below capacity around a decade into their existence, but Iskandar, intended to be the nation's next major growth driver, will be different, its planners say. The development rubs shoulders with Singapore and is designed in part to feed off the thriving city-state, as Shenzhen has fed off Hong Kong, offering cheaper land and alternative labor."

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Published on Thursday, May 3, 2007 in International Herald Tribune
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