Lim: Port City concept will drive East Coast economic growth

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park’s (MCKIP) third phase of development that focuses on the concept of a Port City is expected to bring economic growth in the East Coast, says Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong (pic).

Key logistical and economic hubs around the ports of Kuantan and the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) would be integrated in the project’s third phase, he added.

“This will form the second wave of momentum, becoming the engine that drives the entire East Coast Special Economic Zone, ” he said in a statement yesterday.

Lim led a team from his ministry to visit the MCKIP on Friday to conduct field investigations and studies.

He said MCKIP was the “sister park” of the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park, which is a collaboration called “Two Countries Two Parks” under the Belt and Road Initiative.

“As of December last year, total investment into MCKIP is over tens of billions ringgit, creating an innumerable amount of opportunities for all, ” he added.

On his visit to the MCKIP, Lim said his first stop was at Alliance Steel (M) Sdn Bhd, which he described as the largest investment project valued at RM5.6bil, covering 710 acres.

He pointed out that Alliance Steel, which mainly produces high-speed wire rods, rods and H-beams, currently employed 3,500 workers and was expected to create up to 5,500 jobs.

“The current annual output is 3.5 million tonnes.

“The import of raw materials and the export of finished products of steel are mainly transported through the port of Kuantan.”

Lim also visited Kuantan Port, adding that the port was a key transportation facility for MCKIP to Qinzhou, the “sister port”.

He said Kuantan Port had positioned itself as an important shipping hub for the South China Sea and Malaysia-China Belt and Road.

To increase throughput, Lim said Kuantan Port was currently undergoing a deepening process to accommodate 200,000-tonne cargo ships to import more timber, palm oil and other materials and to facilitate the export of processed products.

“Additionally, after the completion of Kuantan Port’s new embankment, the seasonal northeast monsoon will no longer affect cargo ships entering the port, which can ensure the stability of the port’s year-round operations.”

Lim also said he instructed officials in his ministry to follow up and coordinate in order to speed up the park’s infrastructure construction process and to facilitate more foreign investment.

“My ministry and all its agencies will continue to strive and bring in more investments into the park to ensure the development of this international collaboration between Malaysia and China, enhance our bilateral ties and stimulate the performance of the national economy, ” he added.

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