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SINGAPORE — Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng today (Oct 14) unveiled a new mixed-use development project led by a joint venture of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and Penang’s state development agency, Penang Development Corporation. This comes as both governments take further steps to strengthen their trade and investment links.

Situated near Penang’s Bayan Baru Free Industrial Zone, the S$500 million project, called BPO Prime, will offer some 1.6 million square feet of commercial and residential space, with the former targeting at business process outsourcing.

It will be planned and managed by Economic Development Innovations Singapore, with groundbreaking slated for next year. Construction will take two to three years. This is one of the two projects that Temasek and PDC agreed to develop in Penang in a memorandum of understanding signed in May. The other project is the Penang International Technology Park, and both will total to S$4.4 billion in development value.

Mr Lim, who was in town today for a Penang investment seminar, said: “Penang’s outsourcing sector saw more than 20 per cent increase in revenue last year. BPO Prime is a priority project that is part of the state government’s plans to transform Penang into an international outsourcing hub.”

The MOU came as Singapore’s investment into Penang grew ten-fold to more than MYR600 million (S$234 million) between 2012 and 2013. Mr Lim said he’s hopeful for that figure to grow much further, as Penang’s skilled labour and manufacturing clusters can complement Singaporean companies’ regional expansion.