Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) and Catcha Group Sdn Bhd (Catcha) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore building Internet Cities and technology business hubs across Southeast Asia.
With the huge growth of the tech sector and the need for more centralized locations designed specifically to support the sector, IWH and Catcha recognize there is a huge opportunity to explore and understand in greater detail. The technology & digital sector now employs over 150,000 people in the region and constitute over 20 million ft2 of commercial space in the region, yet there is no dedicated city or zone targeting this sector.
The team will begin researching successful Internet Cities and tech hubs in Paris, Silicon Valley and Shenzhen for ideas and inspiration. Following this, they intend to identify prospective locations for Internet Cities across the region. In Malaysia, locations in Johor and Kuala Lumpur are high on the priority list.
This is a great collaboration between two leaders in their respective fields. Catchas involvement across multiple technology companies gives them unique insights into what tech companies need for growth. IWH is the premier master developer for the region and we look forward to creating the blueprint for a world class internet city with them, said Tan Sri Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, Chairman of IWH.
The Internet Cities will be designed as technology business gateways for global tech giants from the USA, China and other major economies who are targeting Southeast Asia. They will also specifically cater to the needs of local and regional digital startups and growth business, with a focus on allowing them to participate in and take advantage of catalytic programs and infrastructure, as well as to be connected to the global technology ecosystem.
Singapore has become one of the leading technology hubs of Southeast Asia, yet the cost of rent and talent continues to increase. There is a need for companies to seek a more cost-effective solution and the concept of a Johor Internet City is part of the plan. Furthermore, the Rapid Transit System (RTS) train between Johor Bahru and Singapore, commencing service by end of 2026, will catalyze movement of 10,000 commuters per hour every day, making the technology hub proposition even more compelling.
Technology and digital companies are increasingly becoming the largest and fastest growing tenants in commercial spaces; yet todays projects still do not cater to the specific needs that internet companies and technology workers need. We see a huge opportunity to explore together with one of the leading Master Developers in Malaysia., said Mr. Patrick Grove, CEO at Catcha.