Johor Economic Update



About the Seminar

With some 3.7 million people, a large and diversified economy, well-developed infrastructure, and occupying a strategic location, Johor is a key state in Malaysia. Its proximity, deep production linkages, and extensive labour-power mean that it is also of importance to Singapore. Planned initiatives such as the Rapid Transit System and High Speed Rail will further increase connections between this southern Malaysian state and Singapore.

At present, Johor’s economy is undergoing a transformation, with the deepening and consolidation of its services sector. Over the past decade, the Iskandar Malaysia initiative has sought to develop new areas of the economy, through encouraging investments in sectors such as higher education, healthcare, logistics, and tourism. Some of these efforts have borne fruit – as seen by the number of international university campuses and hospital facilities being established.

Beyond these new sectors, the state has deep capabilities in agriculture and manufacturing. With regards to the first, Johor’s large swathes of flat fertile land allowed it to emerge as one of Malaysia’s key agricultural producers. Initially with pepper, gambier, and then rubber, the state is now a key producer of poultry, eggs, fruits and vegetables, and even ornamental fish. Even more than these commodities, Johor is known for its prowess in oil palm production and refining.

And, since the 1980s, Johor has sought to develop its manufacturing sector. Initially leveraging on its strengths in furniture making and textile production, the state sought to bring in electrical and electronics producers. In recent years, emphasis has turned to the oil and gas sector, with important capital-intensive investments. Of note is the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex, a sprawling 20,000 acre project with oil refining, petrochemical plants, and liquefied natural gas import and regasification facilities.

Through focusing on five key sectors, this seminar will provide an update on Johor’s economy and analyze challenges for the future. Comprised of three panels, this event will look at:

  • Land-related sectors – trends and issues facing the agriculture sector; the structure of the housing market
  • Oil and gas – the development of the sector vis-à-vis Singapore; the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex
  • Services – the emergence of the private higher education sector; issues and challenges in the private healthcare sector

Attendance at this event is free of charge but registration is required by 20 February 2017. As seats are limited, please register early. Admission to the event will be taken as confirmed upon written acceptance from ISEAS.

For any queries, please feel free to email:

Seminar Programme
Attached. Please click here.

To register, please complete this form and return it by fax: 6775-6264 or email to by Tuesday, 20 February 2018.


Feb 23 2018


8:30 am - 1:15 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 1 & 2