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Saturday, 13 January 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

Ipoh Shoe City to be ready by 2026

THE multi-million Ipoh Shoe City project, which was first announced in 2009, is expected to be completed by 2026.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said the project on a 10.8ha land in the Pengkalan Light Industries Park, Perak, had started and was to be another tourism destination in the state.

“All locally made, internationally branded shoes will be exhibited here.

“You’ll be surprised to learn that some famous shoe brands are made right here in Bukit Merah,” Zambry said at a ground-breaking ceremony for the project’s convention hall.

Zambry said the state’s footwear industry had been in existence for 104 years.

“The manufacturers in Perak are experienced and specialise in making shoes.

Zambry (third from left), Lee (second from left) and Dr Mah (fourth from left) examining a model of the Ipoh Shoe City project. — RONNIE CHIN/The Star
Zambry (third from left), Lee (second from left) and Dr Mah (fourth from left) examining a model of the Ipoh Shoe City project. — RONN IE CHIN/The Star

“They have transformed from a cottage industry into a small and medium industry,” he said, adding that the footwear industry in the state generated about RM60mil in revenue annually.

“I hope they can continue to grow and spur the economy by generating more revenue for the state,” he added.

Perak Footwear Industry Association (PFIA) and DSG Shuez City Sdn Bhd inked an agreement in 2014 to develop the Shoe City project.

The idea came from Zambry after his visit to the cottage industry in Bukit Merah in 2009.

In his speech, PFIA president Lee Min Choy said the project would consist of 128 factories, 18 shophouses, one hotel and a convention hall.

“The convention hall itself will have an exhibition centre, museum, hall, restaurants, shops and a shoe academy, which will be the only one in the country,” he said.

“The convention hall is expected to be completed within five years,” he added.

Also present at the ceremony were state executive councillor Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, state financial officer Datuk Mohd Ghazali Jalal, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Perak chairman Datuk Gan Tack Kong, Malaysian Footwear Manufacturers Association and PFIA past presidents KK Tham and Low Heng Keat.