KUALA LUMPUR: Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir is hopeful that Kulim International Airport (KXP) would be operational in 2024.

He said the state government already has the master plan of the airport and is currently studying its details.

“We hope to have it operational in 2024,” he said at the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) Centre Stage conversation to share his vision for Kedah towards the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.

The dialogue, co- organised by ASLI and the Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia (JCI), was themed “Dynamic economic development and shared prosperity: The Kedah way.”

Mukhriz also emphasised on the need to develop KXP as the Penang International Airport is more focused on passengers, whereas KXP would cater to cargo and logistics.

“As of today, many industries are still freighting their goods by road to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport,” he said.

On Kulim Hi-Tech Park, whose size the state government plans to double, Mukhriz said he hoped that following the expansion, the park would be able to see exponential growth in investments, especially industries involved in artificial intelligence or robotics.

“We hope the investments would not be at the same pace as in 1996-2019, which only drew RM31 bil in investments,” he told reporters after the event.

However, he did not provide the time frame for the expansion plan, but noted that the land issue has to be addressed first.

Currently, he said, the tech park is owned by the State Economic Development Corporation, but the land area for the planned expansion is owned by local authorities.

“So we are working on merging the two local governments so that the tech park could be expanded further,” he added.

The ongoing US-China trade war, according to him, had created more investment opportunities in the tech park, and felt the state government should take good advantage of this to bring in more foreign direct investments.

On the logistics hub in Sidam, he disclosed that the state government would soon sign several agreements with companies involved in aerospace and logistics, including maintenance, repair and overhaul.

However, he declined to reveal details. – Jan 13, 2020 Bernama

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