Sijori-GT Economic Cooperation for Three Decades: Examining Malaysia’s and Singapore’s FDI Commitments to Riau Islands

La Ode Nazaruddin(1*), Qisthina Aulia(2)

(1) Policy Analyst at Indonesia Ministry of Industry
(2) Lecturer in Polytechnic of Correctional Science at Ministry of Law and Human Rights
(*) Corresponding Author


The Singapore-Johor-Riau Growth Triangle (Sijori-GT) was initiated by the government of Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia in 1989. It took advantage of complementarities among the involved regions. The peripheral regions were expected to reap benefits and gain spillovers from the extended metropolitan region of Singapore.  In the age 30 years of the growth triangle, many scholars found great progress and challenges of the subregional economic cooperation such as unbalanced development and the assumably weak commitment of the participating countries in the Riau Islands. This research has the aim to investigate the tenable commitments of Singapore's and Malaysia's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Riau Islands. Using statistical data from Indonesia's Ministry of Investment from 1990 to 2020, this study compared FDI in Riau Islands by origin, and Singapore's and Malaysia's FDI by sector and subsector. The data was analyzed using the independent sample t-test for two-variable comparison and analysis of variance (posthoc test) for multiple-variable comparison. Finally, this study found that: firstly, the investment of Singapore was larger than that of Malaysia in the Riau Islands; secondly, Singapore specialized in its investment in the manufacturing sector having a better comparative advantage while Malaysia specialized in its investment in the non-manufacturing sector with potential assumed capabilities in halal-related sectors. The lesson-learned from Singaporean and Malaysian case is that dependence will determine the long-run commitment in subregional cooperation.


Sijori-GT; Subregional Cooperation; FDI; extended metropolitan region; halal market

Full Text:



BPS. (1990). Statistik Indonesia 1990. Book, 1–593.

BPS. (1991). Statistical Yearbook of Indonesia 1990.

BPS. (1992). Statistical Yearbook of Indonesia 1991.

BPS. (1996). Statistical Yearbook of Indonesia 1995.

BPS. (2007). Statistical Yearbook of Indonesia 2007.

BPS. (2021). Statistical Yearbook of Indonesia 2021.

BPSRiauIslands. (2004). Kepulauan Riau in Figures 2003.

BPSRiauIslands. (2021). Kepulauan Riau in Figure 2021.

Cleff, T. (2019). Applied Statistics and Multivariate Data Analysis for Business and Economics. In Applied Statistics and Multivariate Data Analysis for Business and Economics.

DepartmentofStatisticsSingapura. (n.d.). Merchandise Trade: Merchandise Trade by Commodity Section/Division.

DinarStandard. (2019). 2019/2020 State of the Global Islamic Economy Report: Driving the Islamic Economy Revolution 4.0.

DinarStandard. (2020). 2020/2021 State of the Global Islamic Economy Report: Thriving in Uncertainty.

Gallant Venture. (n.d.). Corporate Info: Business Structure.

GoI. (20921). PP No. 39 Tahun 2021 tentang Penyelenggaraan Bidang Jaminan Produk Halal. Governemnt of Indonesia.

Grundy-Warr, C., & Perry, M. (2001). Tourism in an Inter-State Borderland: The Case of the Indonesian-Singapore Cooperation. In K. C. Teo, P., Chang, T.C., & Ho (Ed.), Interconnected Worlds: Tourism in Southeast Asia (pp. 64–83). Pergamon.

HistorySG. (1989). The formation of the SijoriGrowth Triangle is Announced on December 20, 1989.

Hutchinson, F.E., & van Grunsven, L. (2018). Industry dynamics in Growth Triangles: the E&E industry in SIJORI 25 years on. Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, 32(2), 42–63.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority. (n.d.). Iskandar Malaysia Smart City. Iskandar Regional Development Authority.

JETRO. (2016). Survey of Investment Related Costs in Asia and Oceania 2015/2016 (in Japanese).

JETRO. (2021). Survey of Investment Related Costs in Asia and Oceania 2020/2021 (in Japanese).

Kakazu, H. (1999). Growth Triangles in Asia: A New Approach to Regional Cooperation (No. 9; Politics and International Relation Series 1999-03).

Lin, J. (2017, April 29). Malaysia heads Southeast Asia halal market standards: Malaysia leads the Southeast Asia region in halal product certification. Taiwan News.

Lind, D.A., Marchal W.G., & Wathen, S.A. (2018). Statistical Techniques in Business and Economics. McGraw-Hill Education.

Macleod, S., & McGee, T.G. (1996). The Singapore-Johore-Riau Growth triangle: An emerging extended metropolitan region. In Fu-chen Lo and Yue-man Yeung (Ed.), Emerging world cities in Pacific Asia. United Nations University Press.

Mcgee, T. G., & Greenberg, C. (1992). The emergence of extended metropolitan regions in ASEAN: towards the year 2000. ASEAN Economic Bulletin, 9(1), 22–44.

NSWiMinistryofInvestment. (n.d.). Perkembangan Investasi 1990-2020.

Ooi, G. L. (1995). The Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore Growth Triangle: Sub-regional economic cooperation and integration. GeoJournal, 36(4), 337–344.

Pew Research Center. (2015). Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050 - Why Muslims Are Rising Fastest and the Unaffiliated Are Shrinking as a Share of the World’s Population. The Future of World Religions.

Rizzo, A., & Glasson, J. (2012). City Profile: Iskandar Malaysia. Cities, 29(6), 417–427.

SalaamGateway. (2020). Halal food industry: 2019-20 "momentous" with the launch of new national strategies.

ThomsonReuters. (2018). 2018/2019 State of the Global Islamic Economy Report: An Inclusive Ethical Economy.

Tieman, M. (2011). The application of Halal in supply chain management: in‐depth interviews. Journal of Islamic Marketing, 2(2), 186–195.

UNCTAD. (n.d.). International Merchandise Trade Report: Revealed comparative advantage index. UNCTAD Statistics.

van Grunsven, L., & Hutchinson, F.E. (2014). The Evolution of the Electronics Industry in the SIJORI Cross-Border Region. ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute.

van Grunsven, L., & Hutchinson, F.E. (2017). The evolution of the electronics industry on Batam Island (Riau Islands Province, Indonesia): an evolutionary trajectory contributing to regional resilience? GeoJournal, 82(3), 475–492.

Vu, K. M. (2013). Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Singapore’s economic growth. Information Economics and Policy, 25(4), 284–300.

Wadley, D., & Parasati, H. (2000). Inside South East Asia’s Growth Triangles. 85(4), 323–334.

World Bank. (n.d.). World Development Indicator.

Xiaodong, X. (2019). The SIJORI Growth Triangle: Progress, Problems, and Prospect. Journal of Maritime Studies and National Integration, 3(1), 1–13.


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 1397 | views : 913


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 La Ode Nazaruddin

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

View My Stats