ECERDC secures RM7b in investments

Of this total, RM4.3b will be realised in existing industrial parks, largely concentrated in areas with integrated infrastructure and utilities

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ pic by BERNAMA

THE East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) has maintained a steady momentum in pulling investments towards meeting its 2025 cumulative target of RM70 billion throughout 2019.

ECERDC CEO Baidzawi Che Mat said the creation of new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in the East Coast Economic Reagion (ECER) in 2019 are a result of the implementation of inclusive socioeconomic projects and programmes.

“We will continue to enhance the delivery of our high-impact projects and programmes to take ECER on the next leap of growth,” he said.

Baidzawi added that the government’s programmes implemented between 2010 and 2019 through the council has impacted 67,400 students, developed 28,300 entrepreneurs and created 52,200 jobs in the ECER.

“This has resulted in the rakyat enjoying increased income levels and significantly reduced out-migration of locals from the region.

“The projects and programmes outlined in the ECER Masterplan 2.0 (EMP2.0) 2018-2025 will continue to shift the region’s economic landscape in order to attract quality private investments, create industrious entrepreneurs and high-income job opportunities,” he said.

In a statement, the ECERDC said it secured RM7 billion during the year in committed investments from 36 new projects, which will create over 5,700 job opportunities.

“Of this total, RM4.3 billion will be realised in ECER’s existing industrial parks, largely concentrated in areas with integrated infrastructure and utilities.

“Foreign direct investment represents 73% of the committed investments, while manufacturing is the dominant sector, making up 39% of new projects, followed by tourism and agribusiness at 25% each,” it said.

Based on previous commitments, the total value of investments realised in 2019 was RM8.8 billion from 72 projects, which surpassed the council’s target of RM7 billion set for the year.

Sector-wise, manufacturing secured 60% of the investments, while tourism 21%, and they are set to generate over 3,750 job opportunities.

ECERDC said under its human capital development programmes, over 100,000 locals have benefitted, whereby nearly 95% of them are from the bottom 40% households, of which 70% are youth and 70% are female participants.

Meanwhile, under its agribusiness, a total of RM156.2 million worth of private investments was realised with 640 jobs and 210 agropreneurs created across three subsectors: Livestock, crop and fisheries.

ECERDC will facilitate the basic infrastructure for agribusiness, while qualified companies will bring technology investments and knowledge to benefit close to 6,000 farmers.

Its tourism sector’s progress is seeing completion and creation of new tourist destinations, namely the Kuala Terengganu City Centre Drawbridge, Menara Teruntum, Rainforest Discovery Centre and Temerloh Titik Tengah Semenanjung.

The ECERDC tourism sector will also further focus on creating more destinations for ecotourism, island tourism, arts, culture and heritage, as well as urban and coastal tourism focusing on balanced development, while conserving the region’s natural assets.

The projects and programmes under ECER are in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, which aims to enable equitable, inclusive and sustainable growth across Malaysia.

ECER is now in its next leap of growth with the implementation of the EMP2.0, which aims to transform the region into a productivity-driven, high value-added economy by 2025 with the adoption of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 as a key pillar.

This is also aligned with the 12th Malaysia Plan, which is founded on the pillars of economic empowerment, environmental sustainability and social re-engineering.