RM110b goal may be reached earlier than planned
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