RM110b goal may be reached ear­lier than planned

New Straits Times - - Business / News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Pri­vate in­vest­ments in the East Coast Eco­nomic Re­gion (ECER) are ex­pected to reach RM110 bil­lion this year, a tar­get orig­i­nally set for 2020.

The achieve­ment is pos­si­ble given strong cat­a­lysts that in­clude high-im­pact in­fra­struc­ture projects, im­proved con­nec­tiv­ity, read­ily avail­able re­sources and the sup­port of a pool of skilled man­power.

East Coast Eco­nomic Re­gion Devel­op­ment Coun­cil (ECERDC) chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Seri Je­basingam Is­sace John said in­fra­struc­ture-ready in­dus­trial parks and in­vestor-friendly in­cen­tives were also ma­jor pull fac­tors for in­vestors.

Among the in­dus­trial parks in the ECER 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.

Is­sace said since ECER’s in­cep­tion in 2008, pri­vate in­vest­ments to­talled over RM102 bil­lion, which was a 14-fold re­turn on the gov­ern­ment’s in­vest­ment of RM7.2 bil­lion to date.

He said the gov­ern­ment also con­tin­ued to al­lo­cate about RM1 bil­lion an­nu­ally to im­ple­ment strate­gic in­fra­struc­ture projects to boost ECERDC’s hu­man cap­i­tal and en­tre­pre­neur devel­op­ment pro­grammes.

“Be­sides in­dus­trial parks, an­other sig­nif­i­cant in­fra­struc­ture in the ECER is the Kuan­tan Port, which is un­der­go­ing ex­pan­sion to be­come a deep­wa­ter port by mid­dle of next year for the berthing of ves­sels of up to 200,000 dead­weight ton­nage,” said Is­sace.

He said the Kuan­tan Port would be the gate­way to Asean and other Asia Pa­cific coun­tries, namely China, Ja­pan, South Korea and Aus­tralia.

“Asia Pa­cific it­self is a US$7 tril­lion (RM30.44 tril­lion) mar­ket and the Kuan­tan Port will be the pull fac­tor for the peo­ple to come and in­vest in ECER Malaysia,” said Is­sace.

He said the deep­wa­ter port was be­ing de­vel­oped by the Kuan­tan Port Con­sor­tium with an in­vest­ment of RM3 bil­lion while the gov­ern­ment’s in­vest­ment in terms of in­fra­struc­ture and sup­port was worth RM1.3 bil­lion. Bernama

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