Singapore and Malaysia happy with progress of joint ventures on both sides

Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam says Singapore and Malaysia are happy with the progress of joint ventures on both sides of the Causeway.

He said the two countries will continue to take steps to improve connectivity, cross-border trade facilitation, and immigration processes.

Mr Tharman, who's also Finance Minister, met Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak today on the sidelines of the World Islamic Economic Forum in Johor Bahru.

He said economically and politically, bilateral relations are working out very well.

Mr Tharman said joint developments in Malaysia's Iskandar region, for example, will enhance the complementary space between both economies:

"There will, over time, also be increasing pressures on our smaller and medium-sized businesses because of shortage of labour in Singapore and shortage of land. And increasingly, they will assess where best to base their operations, particularly those that require more labour and more land. And Malaysia is of course, a very logical hop away, very easy in terms of operational flexibility and logistics."

The Malaysian Prime Minister expressed interest in moving ahead on further discussions with Singapore on the proposed high-speed rail link between both countries.

He also hoped for a joint launch of projects on both sides of the Causeway next year under the Points of Agreement with Singapore.