Malaysia's Pouring Billions in Johor, and how you can benefit from it

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South Johor Economic Region #4 : How do i qualify myself for Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) status?

Already many of my Singaporean clients asking me this question, as they are all very interested to know the details so as to benefit from the incentives given by the government, especially on tax.

Before i start answering the question, here's a brief elaboration for you on the IRDA status. For the purpose of boasting the initial investment into Iskandar Development Region (IDR) , our government has come up with this thing called Incentive and Support Package (ISP). This package is targeted at the service sector.

ISP consists of the following:

(i) Exemption from the Foreign Investment Committee rules;
(ii) Freedom to source capital globally;
(iii) The ability to employ foreign employees freely within the approved zones, depending on the amount of space occupied in these zones;
(iv) Exemption from corporate income tax for a period of 10 years from commencement of operations for activities within the zone and outside Malaysia, provided these operations commence before the end of 2015; and
(v) Exemption from withholding tax on royalty and technical fee payments to non-residents for a period of 10 years from commencement of operations.

So, in order to qualified for the above incentives, the company must be an IRDA-status company. There's two general criteria to fulfil in order to qualify as an IRDA-status company, namely:

(1) Amongst the six Qualifying Activities
(i) Creative industries
(ii) Educational services
(iii) Financial advisory and consulting services
(iv) Healthcare services
(v) Logistics services
(vi) Tourism related activities

(2)Situated in the designated IRDA-approved zones
To my best knowledge, there are two such zones available, and the first zone is already in the process of finalizing.

Doesn't sound very tedious, does it? Please note that this initial ISP is targeted mainly on service sector at current stage. As for the detailed qualifying process, we were told finalised report will be released latest by the third quarter 2007.
Boon Ping is a Registered Estate Agent (E 1690) under the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia since 2002. He has been elected as the Chairman of Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents Johor Branch since 2004 until now. He is currently employed as General Manager under Tiram Realty, an established real estate agency of over 20 years history in Johor, Malaysia.
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