Terengganu upbeat on economic growth
> MB: State aggressively wooing investments, aided by regional development council
KUALA LUMPUR: The Terengganu government expects the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 4.8-5% this year, said Mentri Besar Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman (pix).
“The state government expects the state’s GDP to rise to RM41.5 billion in 2020 compared with RM27.5 billion in 2015. Terengganu, with help from the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), is aggressively attracting investments in order to meet the GDP target,” he told reporters at the signing of investment agreements yesterday.
Ahmad Razif said he is confident of achieving its GDP growth targets based on the 18 entry point projects (EPPs) under the Terengganu Key Economic Areas (TKEA) and 71 committed projects.
“This year alone the hanging fruits are four projects that will take off. The first two are those we signed today, as well as a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) project and a cargo hub at the airport. So hopefully, next year, among the 71 projects, four will be launched,” he added.
The MRO project and cargo hub will both be implemented at the Sultan Mahmud Airport. Yesterday, the state government formalised two investments within the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).
Ahmad Razif said the two projects were identified during the Economic Transformation Lab held earlier with Pemandu in September 2015. The two projects are part of TKEA 2: Tourism and TKEA 3: Biotechnology.
The first agreement, signed with Tiara View Housing Development Sdn Bhd, is for the development of a mixed project with a gross development value of RM2.4 billion in Kuala Terengganu City Centre’s (KTCC) Muara Utara.
The main components are a hotel, service apartments, SOHOs (small offices/ home offices), a shopping mall and a theme park to be developed on government land measuring 3.8ha at Parcel N3.
The development will be done in three phases with the first to begin early 2017. The entire project will be completed in 2024 and is expected to create 1,500 jobs.
“The state government and ECERDC have prepared basic infrastructure, including a drawbridge that is under construction at Muara Utara Sungai Terengganu, measuring 56.5ha. The state government and ECERDC are also considering and refining proposals from investors who are keen to invest in other parcels,” Ahmad Razif said.
In KTCC, infrastructure projects in Muara Utara have been completed since April 2016. By next year, a 30-storey building for the Kuala Terengganu City Council’s new headquarters in Muara Selatan will be completed.
The second agreement, signed between the state government, ECERDC and the Terengganu Heritage Trust Fund Board, will see ECERDC developing and managing Kertih Biopolymer Park. The agreement involves Phase 3 of the park, which takes up 237ha. The estimated cost of development and basic infrastructure is RM251 million. Ahmad Razif said the entire park measures 367ha. Phases 1 and 2, measuring a total of 130ha, have already been completed. Two investors, CJ CheilJedang Corp from South Korea and Arkema from France, have begun operations at the park. To date, RM5 billion has been invested in the park. “The Terengganu state government and ECERDC are in the midst of finalising another investment worth RM840 million for the production of biolubricants and the production of synthetic rubber gloves with an investment value of RM970 million,” the mentri besar said, adding that the project was also identified during the lab session. Terengganu attracted RM26.3 billion in investments between 2007 and September 2016, creating 30,078 jobs. The state is part of ECER, which includes Kelantan, Pahang and the district of Mersing in Johor.