Call to focus on islands

  • Metro News
  • Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020

Children having a splashing time at Pulau Perhentian, a popular tourist destination in Terengganu. The number of domestic visitors to islands in Terengganu is expected to increase. — Filepic

THE East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) has proposed to the Ministry of Finance to widen its focus to include development aspects of islands in Terengganu in the 2021 Budget.

Its chief executive officer Baidzawi Che Mat said that the development and upgrading of infrastructure like jetties, sidewalks and solid waste management systems would help conserve the islands’ natural assets.

He said that the move would also drive the tourism industry because the number of visitors to the islands is expected to increase post-pandemic.

The move will also curb threats to marine biodiversity.

“Other measures including incentives to local businesses need to be given serious consideration to attract more tourists, ” he said in a statement.

ECERDC stated these matters during an engagement session in the preparation of the 2021 Budget with Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz at Kampung Budaya, Terengganu State Museum, Kuala Terengganu.

The session was also attended by tourism, oil, gas and petrochemical industry players.

It also said that under the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) Master Plan 2.0, apart from the emphasis on infrastructure development of popular island destinations such as Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Lang Tengah,

ECERDC had also built the iconic Kuala Terengganu city centre drawbridge as well as ecotourism sites in Kenyir Lake and Setiu Wetlands.

In the engagement session, ECERDC also proposed new areas of focus, particularly specialty chemicals, to boost growth and attract high value-added downstream investments.

It added that the council would continue to work with federal and state governments’ industry players in driving investments and socio-economic growth in the region. — Bernama

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