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Forest City Development Set To Create 220,000 Jobs

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SINGAPORE, Jan 22 (Bernama) -- The 'Forest City' development will create about 220,000 jobs for locals by 2035, Country Garden Pacificview Executive Director Datuk Md Othman Yusof said.

The project, which will be developed at the cost of S$58.3 billion (S$1=RM3.05) over the next 20 years, is expected to fuel the economy of Iskandar region and neighbouring Singapore.

Eight industries, such as education, healthcare and tourism, will be the main economic pillars of Forest City growth.

Md Othman said the government was not providing any new incentives to foreign developers as they were getting similar ones enjoyed by any companies investing in the Iskandar region.

However, the federal government may announce some incentives in March to encourage more investments in the economic region, he told the Malaysian media on the sidelines of the Sustainable Eco-City Development Forum cum Forest City Global press conference here.

Located on four man-made islands in Iskandar Malaysia, Forest City is jointly developed by China's Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd and Johor's Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd.

Spanning over 1,386.05 hectares, Forest City is Southeast Asia's firsts and largest mixed-use green development in terms of the number of units to be built with a vertical greenery and smart city design theme.

As part of the long-term plan, Country Garden is in talks with a Malaysian local government on the setting up of dedicated entry points to 'Forest City' such as a light rail transit system and a ferry network linking it to Singapore and the planned Singapore-Malaysia high-speed rail.

Md Othman said the islands would be inter-connected by bridges and would be linked via the second link to Singapore.

"Forest City is expected to have its first launch in the first half of this year.

"For now, we can't tell the gross development value of Forest City yet as it will be done in stages. We will have nine stages of developments over 20 years," he said.