Projects related to ECRL set to boost socio-economic activities in various sectors — MIDA

KUALA LUMPUR — The East Coast Rail Link-Economic Accelerator Projects (ECRL-EAPs) is set to boost socio-economic activities within various sectors such as construction, tourism, trade and industrial development, said the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

The ECRL-EAP is an infrastructure project which started in April 2019 in collaboration with MIDA and China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).

MIDA emphasised that the ECRL is replete with opportunities for local companies and it would be a huge loss if these were to go untapped. Given that the project is the largest ever to be undertaken along the East Coast alignment, it would be ideal for all companies to seize opportunities that arise.

“Areas that could be further explored — being EAP enablers — are construction (products and services); renewable energy; sustainability products and services; education and training centres; shared utility service like waste management, research and development.

“This will create more economic opportunities and new jobs at each of the EAPs,” the agency told Bernama.

MIDA also said that the successful implementation of the ECRL requires cooperation and collaboration among all stakeholders, including local governments, key transportation players, government-linked investment companies (GLICs), financial institutions and local communities.

“MIDA is eager to support businesses eyeing ECRL-EAP investments. This will enhance the project’s allure for investors. This effort is crucial in maintaining an edge over competing initiatives, like the proposed Thailand’s Kra Land Bridge.

“We are calling on more companies to join forces with the government via MIDA, amplifying this groundbreaking initiative,” it said.

MIDA will also promote programmes in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Selangor related to the ECRL-EAPs. It has also initiated engagements with key stakeholders including local governments, industry associations, park managers and developers, GLICs and real-estate investment trusts to raise awareness of the EAPs and to reach a wider audience among potential investors.

“Participation from all stakeholders is highly important. Issues like environmental challenges, such as floods, infrastructure, utility readiness, zoning restrictions, and land categorisations, have been identified.

“To address these concerns, MIDA is currently working closely with key stakeholders such as utility providers, state governments, associations and developers, and other key stakeholders to make sure that the issues are addressed and an enabling environment is provided for development and investment along the route,” it said.

MIDA, through the domestic investment coordination platform (DICP), which is under the domestic investment division, plays a role in connecting investors with financiers.

According to the agency, the DICP facilitates direct engagement between investors and financiers, allowing them to discuss funding options, negotiate terms, and explore alternative financing arrangements.

The ECRL is a Malaysian project costing RM50.27 billion. It is currently under construction and aims to connect the east coast city of Kota Bharu in Kelantan to Port Klang, Selangor on the the west coast.

The electrified train will run on a standard gauge double-track railway connecting the East Coast Economic Region states of Pahang, Terengganu, and Kelantan to the central region. It is expected to spur economic growth in areas along its route.

Spanning 665 kilometres, the ECRL is poised to be a game changer for Malaysia, linking the country closely to the Pan-Asia railway network and enhancing connectivity with ASEAN and Eurasia regions.

It is targeted to be completed in December 2026 and operational in January 2027. The ECRL is expected to raise Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 3.8 per cent in 2047 by enhancing trade, boosting tourism, and stimulating regional development.

The ECRL-EAPs are anticipated to generate RM1.4 trillion for the Malaysian economy by 2047 with a focus on industrial parks, logistic hubs, and transit-oriented developments (TODs).

“This strategic initiative aims to improve connectivity and economic activities along the ECRL route and to ensure inclusive growth across all participating states. The EAPs seek to tackle income and wealth disparities by fostering a shared prosperity agenda,” said MIDA.

As of February 2024, the project is 62.4 per cent complete, with each state’s alignment progressing steadily. — BERNAMA / pic credit: MEDIA MULIA