RM12 billion Private Investment Attracted, Creating 27,956 New Jobs and 7,326 Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Key Economic and SME sectors

KOTA BHARU, KELANTAN, 6 MARCH 2018: The high-impact projects and human capital development programmes in Kelantan, which are implemented by the Federal Government through the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) in partnership with the Kelantan State Government, have continued to transform the state’s socio-economic landscape with more than 27,956 new jobs and 7,326 entrepreneurial opportunities created for the Rakyat since 2007, particularly for the locals and youth in suburban and rural areas.

This transformation, following the inception of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) a decade ago, has created an investment-friendly ecosystem in Kelantan which had helped boost employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, including in the Manufacturing, Logistics and Real Estate sectors, among others. Between 2007 and January 2018, private investments in Kelantan has increased to RM12 billion, of which 69% are contributed by domestic direct investments, reflecting the growing participation and empowerment of local businesses and entrepreneurs.

More importantly, investments made by the Bumiputera companies have been a key enabler of Kelantan’s socio-economic growth, attributing 42% of the state’s total private investments. To assist the growth of Bumiputera investors in line with the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Agenda, a total of 50 projects worth RM5.04 billion have received either ECER incentives or Facilitation Fund under TERAJU@ECER, or both. Resulting from their expansion, more than 6,790 jobs were created by these Bumiputera investors for the locals.                                                                                

On top of the jobs created by private investors, ECERDC’s inclusive human capital development programmes such as empower ECER, entrepreneur ECER and South Kelantan Agropolitan have also generated 11,151 jobs for the local communities.

“The improvement of the people’s livelihood through jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities has been a core feature of ECERDC’s development projects and programmes in Kelantan. As we commemorate our 10th Anniversary this year, we will continue to spur the growth of private investments through various high-impact InfraRakyat projects and human capital development programmes. We are also leveraging on Kelantan’s strategic location due to its proximity to the Indochina region, making it the Cross Border Gateway and an ideal logistic centre for the North- East of Peninsular Malaysia. The spillover economic benefits are tremendous and will help facilitate greater investments in the State, particularly among domestic and Bumiputera investors, ultimately creating more jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for the Rakyat,” said Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC, YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John after the ECER Implementation and Coordination Committee (ICC) Kelantan meeting here today. The meeting was chaired by Kelantan Menteri Besar, YAB Ustaz Dato’ Haji Ahmad Bin Yakob.

Since 2007, the Federal Government has allocated more than RM1 billion in public investments in Kelantan via ECERDC. One of the key developments include the upcoming IMT-GT Plaza, which is projected to further boost cross-border trade and tourism through the provision of a conducive and strategic commercial centre in Bukit Bunga. Targeted to be completed by 2019, the Plaza will provide close to 100 local entrepreneurs with the opportunity to promote and market their products, including to foreign buyers from neighbouring Thailand.

Meanwhile, the district of Tok Bali has also been earmarked as a new growth area for Kelantan. For instance, Tok Bali Port has been identified as the Regional Distribution Hub for movement of goods from cross-border trade with Southern Thailand and Indochina. On the other hand, the Tok Bali Integrated Fisheries Park (TBIFP) is expected to propel Tok Bali as a main fisheries hub for both local and export markets while the Tok Bali Industrial Park will cater to the anticipated growth in private investments in the region particularly in the manufacturing, agribusiness as well as oil and gas sectors.

Tapping on the growing global demand for halal products and services, Pasir Mas Halal Park (PMHP), which is jointly developed by ECERDC and the Kelantan State Economic Development Corporation (PKINK) across 108 acres of land, has received RM37 million in committed investments to-date.

In ensuring the investments will benefit the local talent pool, particularly the youth and unemployed graduates, ECERDC has partnered up with two local investors namely, Highplus Engineering Sdn. Bhd. and Tok Bali Supply Base Sdn. Bhd. under the ECER Talent Enhancement Programme (ETEP). Under this programme, 51 graduates will be placed at the two companies for on-the-job practical training that will help enhance their employability and marketability.

The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) is also taking shape to be a significant game-changer in the East Coast Region, as it will connect key industrial parks and growth areas in Kelantan including Pengkalan Kubor, Tumpat, Kota Bharu and Tok Bali, enabling the movement of goods and people between these areas through Tok Bali Port. The ECRL project will also create jobs and open up new business opportunities for the local population.

On the human capital development front, ECERDC’s inclusive programmes such as ECERDC’s empower ECER Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme has benefitted 4,639 participants who are now earning between RM1,000 and RM10,000 monthly. Meanwhile, the empower ECER Academic Training programme has benefitted more than 18,190 students, with 84% of them improving their academic achievement, hence ensuring a better future for the state’s younger generation.

ECERDC’s entrepreneur ECER programme have also helped expand the businesses of more than 2,279 participants by providing them with the platform to reach out to a wider market place. In addition, ECERDC’s South Kelantan Agropolitan project in Gua Musang has benefited around 600 participants who are now earning an average stable income of about RM1,500 per month through agribusiness activities such as oil palm plantation and cocoa farming.

“Leveraging on the solid foundation built within the last ten years, Kelantan will be experiencing its Next Leap of Growth as the state is expected to benefit from the various key infrastructure projects in the ECER, such as the Central Spine Road (CSR) and ECRL. These game-changers will not only improve connectivity between Kelantan and the rest of the country, but will also trigger further economic spillover in the areas along their path,” concluded Datuk Seri Issace.

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