By IZZAT RATNA
Pahang has secured RM56.9 billion of domestic and foreign private investments, creating over 53,565 job opportunities as at May 2017 as a result of the, federal and state governments collaboration.
The collaboration between both parties under the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) mainly comprises high-impact projects and public infrastructure works.
ECERDC CEO Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John said in a statement following the partnership that Pahang has now emerged as a competitive and resilient destination of choice for investors.
“The federal government will continue to invest in developing high-impact projects and strategic infrastructure to further facilitate and spur the creation of new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for the people through increased investments and socio-economic growth,” he said after the ECER Implementation and Coordination Committee Pahang meeting chaired by Pahang Chief Minister Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob yesterday.
Jebasingam further said, in line with the National Transformation Agenda (NTA) and Malaysia’s vision to become a high-income nation, ECERDC will continue to invest in public infrastructure projects, promote investments as well as upskill the local talent pool in the East Coast region.
Investments into Pahang are expected to be accelerated with the completion of several infrastructure projects.
The total private investments in Pahang’s manufacturing sector now stands at RM29 billion, with more than 35,400 job opportunities created, when the Malaysia- China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) recently secured an investment for a new chemical fertiliser manufacturing plant from Sichuan Migao Chemical Fertilizer Industry Co Ltd.
One of the key developments includes the Kuantan Port Expansion, which is set to become a deep water port by 2018.
Currently, the construction of a breakwater at Kuantan Port is in an advanced stage, while the external infrastructure works at the port — such as the interchange, flyover and new port entry road — are on track for completion in phases. Kuantan Port is set to offer investors in MCKIP and the ECER one of the fastest routes to major ports in China and other Asia-Pacific mar- kets, reinforcing the region as the “Gateway to Asia Pacific”.
Further to this, the 600km East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) will significantly enhance connectivity across the region, hence expanding the market for resources and trade. The ECRL will directly link key economic and industrial areas within the ECER including Bentong, Mentakab, Maran, Gambang, Kuantan Sentral, Kuantan Port and Cherating in Pahang, up to Tumpat in Kelantan, with Port Klang in the West Coast, creating more new growth centres and opening up more job and entrepreneurial opportunities for the locals in the region.
The construction of the Cybercentre at Pahang Technology Park (PTP) is on track for completion by August this year and this will facilitate the growth of halal food, biotechnology, information and communication technology, as well as agriculture technology industries which will be located in PTP.
Meanwhile, entrepreneurship and support for small and medium enterprises remain as one of the core pillars of ECERDC’s strategy to fuel the region’s socio-economy. So far, 43 projects worth RM7.05 billion from Bumiputera companies have received incentives from either ECER Incentive Package or Facilitation Fund under [email protected] ECER, or both. These projects are expected to generate 4,294 job opportunities.
Between 2012 to May 2017, [email protected] has approved facilitation funds amounting to RM45.5 million to 21 projects in the state, involving investments of up to RM357.1 million.