THE Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) joint-business council (JBC) plans to include regional corporate entities in its business forum as a means to raise capital to fund and expedite major infrastructure projects in member countries.
National JBC chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Maidin said regional corporate giants based in Bangkok, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur would be invited to join JBC members to purse the tremendous potential in the economic grouping, which serves 80 million people sub-regionally.
Besides corporate firms, major financiers such as the Asian Development Bank would also be called upon to explore the region's potential, said Abdul Rahman, who is also the Malay Chamber of Commerce national president, at the IMT-GT senior officers and ministerial meeting in Kangar yesterday.
Most of the 180 JBC members comprise small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who lack the capital and technical expertise to undertake certain major infrastructure, trade and services projects proposed under the IMT-GT.
Abdul Rahman also said that the JBC planned to involve the Myanmar private sector in JBC's quarterly meetings since the country had lucrative barter trade ties with Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The IMT-GT comprises Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor (newest member), five southern-most provinces in Thailand (Songkhla, Satun, Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat), as well as 80% of the Indonesian island of Sumatera.
It was believed that among the potential infrastructure projects that could be realised with corporate participation was water supply from rich catchment areas in Sumatra, tourism, minerals exploration, as well as cargo rail and road links.
Abdul Rahman said the IMT-GT was evolving into a formidable economic cooperation area and there were plans to also include the Malaysian state of Kelantan and in Indonesia - the Lampung and South Sumatra provinces.
He said in the recent JBC meeting held last weekend, the recommendations to the governments of the IMT-GT area were to ease immigration procedures and border operation hours to expedite the movement of raw materials, semi-processed products, tourist arrivals and trade.