Malaysia is pushing forward with the Melaka Gateway, a US$10 billion redevelopment scheme that will build hotels, theme parks, museums and shopping malls.
The proposals are backed by Chinese investment in Malaysia, which has increased by 119% in 2016, with a 64% hike in the first quarter of 2017, according to Thailand Business News.
Work on the Melaka Gateway started in 2015, with a completion date slated around 2025. It will transform a number of artificial islands located off Malaysia’s southern coast into commercial, residential and shopping districts, with port and freight terminal facilities.
Michelle Ong of KAJ Development had high hopes that the Melaka Gateway would transform Malacca’s economy.
“We are building a new eco-system that would bring in hundreds of companies and will transfer the weekend economy into an all round economy,” she told Xinhua news agency. “This is good for Malacca.”
The central focus will be an international cruise terminal, South-east Asia’s biggest terminal, luxury complexes, a maritime industrial park and a deep-sea port.
Expansion plans for Melaka Gateway
Island One will be aimed at entertainment, tourism, commercial and property development, while Island Two sets its sights on becoming south-east Asia’s premier financial and business hub.
Island Three will be the site of the deep-sea port facility because of its strategic location in terms of the Straits of Malacca, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
The project is a joint-venture basis between two state-funded firms – KAJ Development (KAJD), a Malaysian real-estate company, and Powerchina, a specialist in infrastructure development.
Once completed, it is expected to attract about 2.5 million visitors a year, while providing full-time employment for up to 45,000 people. An additional 2.5 million tourists are expected to come to the region over the next 12 years.
The high-profile project was agreed between Malaysia and China during the Malaysian prime minister’s visit to Beijing in November 2016.
China is committed to funding infrastructure in the ASEAN region, with Malaysia targeted as one of the key countries.