PETALING JAYA: There is a lack of industrial properties and industrial space in the Klang Valley despite the demand for newer and better industrial space, said Axis REIT Managers Bhd CEO and executive director Datuk Stewart LaBrooy.
"Klang Valley has nothing to offer them. It's the complete failure of the local authorities, the people in charge of industrial developments in Selangor. FDI (foreign direct investments) is leaving and what happens when FDI leaves? People will leave with it to the new sites," he said during his presentation on commercial and industrial property outlook at the 17th National Housing & Property Summit 2014 yesterday.
"Everyone wants to be here (Selangor) but we have nothing to offer them... Selangor needs good, industrial parks," he added.
According to him, Petaling Jaya houses many old factories that are still running. These businesses want to move to better sites but they don't know where to go and are afraid of losing their workforce if they relocate too far.
Meanwhile, LaBrooy said Johor does not seem to be attracting as much of the demand from Singapore as was expected, despite Singapore having some 6,000 small medium enterprises that need to move across the border.
"This year, they say, is the year of relocation but it's not really happening to the extent that people thought it would.
Primarily because Johor has some demographic issues that will take some time to be resolved. Johor is not a work that can be completed in five years. It will be a work that's going to be completed in 20 years; it's going to take that long.
"But, it's moving in the right direction. It probably has the best infrastructure of any region in the country that I've ever seen. It is so well connected with roads, airports and ports, it has everything there. The one thing it doesn't have is people. There's no population," said LaBrooy.
He said projects like SME City and i-Park at the Johor Industrial Park within the Kulaijaya township are doing well as it offers a holistic site complete with workers accommodation and is gated and guarded.
In terms of good industrial estates, LaBrooy said Penang has it right, with its Batu Kawan industrial estate attracting big industrials such as Honda, Bose, Ikea and Intel.
He said land prices in Penang's industrial estates are fixed at RM35 psf compared with RM70 psf to RM105 psf at Bayan Lepas.
"Penang focuses on a one-stop centre, they master planned all their industrial estates and most importantly Penang has skilled workers and they have institutes in Penang that trains people," he added.
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