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If the SEZ were to emulate the Shenzhen–Hong Kong relationship model, Johor Bahru would be a cost-efficient location with supportive policies, infrastructures and skilled labour to attract foreign companies based in Singapore and beyond to expand their operation in Johor. According to Rahim & Co research director Sulaiman Saheh, this makes the industrial and the commercial sectors at the forefront to take advantage of the SEZ incentives, while Wong expected the industrial and the logistics sectors to be the clear beneficiaries, as well as the tourism sector.

“The primary beneficiaries will be the industrial and logistics sectors. Fiscal incentives, including tax exemptions and duty-free procedures coupled with a digitised process for cargo clearance at land checkpoints, will streamline the process and reduce the cost of doing business, enticing foreign investors to Johor,” she said. “The implementation of visa-free travel will bolster tourism activities, (including) spending on lodging and shopping. (This will) benefit both retail and hospitality sectors.”