During a recent meeting between the managers of Iskandar Malaysia and the EU, The CEO of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda), Ismail Ibrahim, said he was ‘glad’ at the level of knowledge and interest of Iskandar Malaysia in the European Union. Indeed, people are now more aware about the Iskandar Project and investors from the EU have been looking at available opportunities. They are searching for opportunities that they can participate in. There has been some investments from the EU already. The best known is the Legoland. Although the Legoland is not entirely funded from the EU, it is the use of the license that will in a way draw more EU participants to the region. There is a strong presence of education from the EU. Chief among them are the University of Southampton, the Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology, Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia and Malborough College. It looks as if the EU are using what they can do best when it comes to investment in Iskandar Project. All these education setups are located in Educity@Iskandar and they formed the bulk of interest at this university enclave.
But what about other sectors that will be suitable for the EU? There is already a biotechnology sector in Iskandar Project in Bioxcell and it is here that the EU would find comfortable. Biotechnology and biomedicine are new green fields that EU countries can invest in. There is an abundance of green raw materials in the region with a five hundred year old rain forest lying in the backdrop. The opportunities of creating new medicines from these natural ingredients is immense. For one thing, the EU is strong in research and they can find great opportunities by forming joint partners located at Bioxcell. They should come now before others make their presence felt. Then there are green technologies and we have very strong players from Germany and the Scandinavian countries. Wind and solar firms can relocate in Iskandar Project because it is still very new. Then there are new chemicals and materials industries that the EU countries are strong at and they will find Iskandar Malaysia can be a very suitable place for them to locate at. Having both China and India at its backdrop, the Iskandar Project will be a suitable place for research and marketing. There might be other industries that the EU can concentrate in and one of them is the movie industry. Pinewood studios have already set foot in Iskandar Malaysia.