UNDER fire from critics claiming that the Forest City development in Johor was not benefiting locals, the Chinese developer of the multi-billion-dollar project said more than 40% of its capital expenditure went to pay local firms, The Starreported today.
Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd said it spent RM4.7 billion on the services of local consultancy, law and architecture firms, as well as on construction materials.
“Cement, sand and other materials were bought locally. We did not import them from China,” said company president Yu Runze.
“So, it is untrue to say that Forest City has not benefited Malaysia or its people,” he was quoted as saying by the report.
The Chinese developer will spend RM5 billion this year building the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, another hotel, new infrastructure items, and a factory to manufacture ready-to-assemble concrete structures such as staircases, beams, columns and walls, said Yu.
He also denied reports that Beijing’s new capital controls have seriously affected the sale of Forest City properties, which are targeted towards investors from China.
“The number of withdrawals is about 60, compared with the 15,000 units sold by the end of 2016.
“The bulk were sold to Chinese buyers. We have to look at the issue in perspective,” said Yu.
The Forest City project, which will take shape on four artificial islands in the Straits of Johor facing Singapore, will house 700,000 people upon completion.