KUALA LUMPUR – China-controlled Country Garden Pacific View Sdn Bhd’s industrialised building system (IBS) facility in Johor is set to become the world’s largest IBS factory, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

The RM2.6 billion project will feature technologies from Germany, Italy and China, Bernama reported Mustapa as saying in Johor Bahru.

Once the factory is completed, Mustapa said it would help the nation reduce dependency on foreign labour, besides becoming more productive and efficient, and shortening the project completion project.

“Currently, three lines are in operations, while the rest are in the test run stages and by June 2017, there will be a total of 12 lines in operation. One of the significant spillover is in terms of technology transfer,” Mustapa was quoted as saying.

“For example, if a project takes two to three years to complete, with IBS, it can be done at a much faster pace. We will also have a more productive, efficient, sustainable and safer construction industry in Malaysia,” he told a press conference after chairing a roundtable meeting with 12 industry players at the US$100 billion Forest City.

The development, Mustapa had said, was in line with Malaysia’s aspirations to become a high-income nation by adopting smart technologies and processes, including automation, said Mustapa.

There were 63 IBS projects nationwide since 1990 with investments amounting to RM1.9 billion, Bernama reported.

Mustapa also said that Forest City, which was optimistic about its growth prospects, was going to invest another RM5 billion this year.

“Forest City has been very bullish about their prospects in Malaysia. So far they had invested RM4.6 billion on this first island, and I understand that this year they are investing another RM5 billion and by the end of the year Forest City would have a total of investment at RM9.6 billion,” he said.

The minister said 70% of permanent jobs in Forest City were offered to Malaysians, thus allaying claims that the metropolis would become another China’s city or the jobs catered only to foreigners.

On April 6, Country Garden announced that it had ceased all travel-related support services for prospective mainland Chinese travelling to Forest City.