PASIR GUDANG: The Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) and the Johor Baru Furniture Association together with Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Johor, are collaborating to bring a synergy effect to the furniture making industry.
SFIC assistant honorary treasurer Marcus Wong said the networking platform will enable Singapore-based companies to explore the potential of setting up retail, manufacturing and office facilities in Iskandar Malaysia as well as enable furniture manufacturers from both sides of the Causeway to work together.
Wong said this after a networking session, attended by 200 participants, at EBP III here recently at an event hosted by Ecoworld Development Group.
He said that it will be more cost-effective for SFIC members to shift their facilities to Johor, namely, due to the land tenure and lower overhead costs.
"The cost of operating a factory in Johor is one-third that of operating one in Singapore, and the land at the EBP offers freehold status," he said.
"We can have a smaller workforce but we can turn to a high-tech system and skilled local workers," he said.
Meanwhile, MIDA Johor director Rozano Yahya said said the collaboration will see MIDA helping foreign companies set up their businesses here, from the implementation stage to the fully operational stage.
On a separate matter, Rozano said there was a downtrend in the export of timber products since 2013.
"Export of furniture from Johor registered at RM7.34 billion last year to countries like Japan and the United Kingdom, and we expect the figure to increase by 10 per cent this year," he said.
Also present was Eco World's South Divisional General Manager Hoe Mee Ling who said Ecoworld is offering three special grants of up to 3.5 per cent of the purchase price of the property in the EBP to assist young entrepreneurs.
The company has three EBPs in Iskandar Malaysia. --- EBP I at the Tebrau Growth Corridor, EBP II in Senai and EBP III in Pasir Gudang --- with a total GDV of RM8.8 billion. To date the company has achieved total sales of RM640 million for the three EBPs, and a total of 2,300 commercial units have been snapped up to date.
The grants --- investment grant, franchising grant and pioneer grant --- are targeted at assisting young entrepreneurs who may face financial constraints and need better networking.
Hoe said such incentives will give clients a competitive edge.
|The entrance to EBP III in Pasir Gudang.|
all pics courtesy of Ecoworld