PUTRAJAYA: The East Coast Economic Region (ECER) has attracted a staggering RM37bil investments between 2007 and last month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Friday.
He said the investments have created nearly 30,000 jobs for the people.
The total investments include RM12bil of committed investments for this year alone, surpassing the original RM10bil investment target for this year, he said.
Of the committed investments, 27% was in the tourism sector, 37.5% in the logistics sector, 16.8% in the manufacturing sector, 10.4% in the property sector and 8.3% in the agriculture sector.
Terengganu received the highest investments with RM18.7bil, followed by Pahang (RM11.1bil), Kelantan (RM5.6bil) and Mersing in Johor (RM1.6bil), said Najib, who is also Finance Minister.
To date, the Government has allocated RM2.6bil to implement 80 high- impact projects and programmes in ECER under the Ninth Malaysia Plan and the 10th Malaysia Plan (Rolling Plans 1, 2 and 3), the Prime Minister said.
Najib said the projects comprise infrastructure projects such as construction and upgrading of roads and water treatment plants in the region, spanning Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu and Mersing district in Johor.
To further spur economic growth in the ECER Special Economic Zone, the Kuantan Port expansion project is moving ahead as planned and the port will be turned into a deepwater port by 2015, capable of handling bigger and most modern ships up to 200,000 deadweight tonnes (DWT).
Najib also announced the rebranding of the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster in Kuantan to Kuantan Integrated Biopark in line with the East Coast Economic Region Development Council's objective to promote biotechnology-related activities based on oil palm biomass in the park.
To stimulate the growth of knowledge-based economy and information communications technology industry in ECER and to further develop the local small and medium enterprises, the council will also embark on the development plan for the Gambang Technology Park next year.
Among the key project in the ECER is the 685ha Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) located within the vicinity of the Kuantan Port City.
MCKIP is the first bilateral project in Malaysia to be accorded national-level status and it is expected to attract RM7.5 billion investments from local and international investors and create 5,500 employment opportunities by 2020.
"We are optimistic that our investment target for MCKIP is achievable as several international players from various industries have already expressed their interest in the project," said the council's Chief Executive Officer Datuk Jebasingam Isaace John.
Targeted industries at MCKIP include plastics and metal equipment, automotive components, fibre cement board and stainless steel products.
MCKIP will be developed by a master developer made up of a joint-venture company between a Malaysian consortium and a Chinese consortium.
The Malaysian consortium will own 51 per cent equity in the joint-venture company while the Chinese consortium will hold the balance 49 per cent equity.
The Malaysian consortium consists of SP Setia Bhd, Rimbunan Hijau Group and the Pahang State Government through Perbadanan Setiausaha Kerajaan and Pahang State Development Corporation.
The Chinese consortium comprises Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group, CCCC Real Estate Co Ltd, China Harbour Engineering Co and Qingzhou Investment Co.
Ground work for the MCKIP commenced in September and the official ground- breaking ceremony by Najib and government officials from China is expected to be held in the first quarter of next year. - Bernama
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