PENANG will be transformed into an international logistics hub with the development of a Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex on a 1,214ha land in the Butterworth coastal area.
Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) chairman Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the tax-free zone project, of which the cost had yet to be estimated, would be potentially built on reclaimed land. He said more than 100,000 new job opportunities would be created with commercial complexes, hotels, petroleum tank farm as well as dockyard services being developed under the project.
“Foreigners especially those from Thailand, Indonesia, India and the Middle East could stay at the hotels and have their activities at the CIQ designated areas, without paying taxes,” Dr Hilmi said.
He added that the project was aimed at transforming Penang into a vibrant logistics hub which focused on the service sectors.
He said the state was oversaturated with manufacturing activities and it was crucial to consider other industries to stimulate the economy. “To cater to the industrial needs, packaging services will be provided at the CIQ for unfinished goods from manufacturing-based countries such as China,” he told a press conference at the state Barisan Nasional office in Bayan Baru yesterday.
Dr Hilmi said the project would kick off once the Finance Ministry gave the green light. However, when asked about the completion schedule, he said the project would be completed earlier should Barisan take over the state in the coming general election.
“The PPSB has submitted the proposal to the Ministry two weeks ago and we are waiting for the approval,” he said. Penang Barisan chairman Teng Chang Yeow lauded the proposal as it would complement the proposed Penang’s free port status. Teng said in a statement that the free port status was still at discussion stage as the state Barisan was in the process of meeting business organisations and associations here to obtain their feedback. “We will formulate a comprehensive and conclusive proposal of the free port once the discussion is completed,” he said.