KUALA LUMPUR: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) expects private investments to reach RM110bil in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) this year, a target actually set for 2020.
Realising the target sooner-than-expected has been no mean feat but thanks to catalyst like high-impact infrastructure projects, improved connectivity, readily available resources and the support of a pool of skilled manpower, attracting investments from both domestic and foreign investors has been possible.
Chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John said infrastructure-ready industrial parks in the ECER and investor-friendly incentives were also major pull factors for investors as they could start their operations immediately while enjoying many perks including a 10-year tax holiday.
Among the industrial parks in the region are the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park, Pekan Automative Park and Kuantan Integrated Industrial Park in Pahang; Kerteh Biopolymer Park in Terengganu and Pasir Mas Halal Park in Kelantan, with the main sectors comprising manufacturing, bio-economy, oil and gas, tourism, logistics and transportation.
ECERDC is a statutory body that spearheads the execution and implementation of ECER’s master plan covering Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and the district of Mersing in Johor, which is home to 51% of Peninsular Malaysia’s population.
Issace said since ECER’s inception in 2008, private investments totalled over RM102bil, which was a 14-fold return on the government’s investment of RM7.2bil, to-date.
He said the government also continued to provide an allocation of about RM1bil annually to implement strategic infrastructure projects and continue ECERDC’s human capital and entrepreneur development programmes.
Issace said Kuantan Port would be the gateway to Asean and other Asia-Pacific countries – China, Japan, South Korea and Australia. — Bernama