What is the East Coast Economic Region (ECER)?

The East Coast Economic Region (ECER) was formed in 2007 with the launch of the ECER Master Plan by the Federal Government. ECER is one of the five economic corridors established by the Government to address the disparity in regional socio-economic development.

The formation of ECER was intended to accelerate economic growth and ensure equitable distribution of wealth across the country, in line with national aspirations to become a high-income developed nation by 2020. ECER comprises the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and the district of Mersing in Johor and accounts for 51% of the land area of Peninsular Malaysia and is home to 4.8 million people.

What is the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC)?

ECERDC was established as a Federal Statutory Body under Act 688 on 13 June 2008 with the mandate to spur socio-economic development of the ECER, thereby uplifting the quality of life of the people in the Region.

ECERDC’s role is to accelerate the implementation of strategic high impact projects and programmes. This is done by complementing existing Federal and State Government efforts through a consultative and collaborative approach to ensure all stakeholder issues are addressed and the particular regional needs are met. The aim is to enable all rakyat to enjoy the fruits of the Region’s economic growth, and that no community is left behind particularly the B40, youth, women and Orang Asli communities.

The ultimate goal is to achieve balanced regional development and close the rural-urban gap between the East Coast and West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Why is it known as the East Coast Economic Region and not East Coast Corridor like the Northern Corridor?

Although the terminology is different, the purpose is the same, which is to undertake development in an integrated basis.

The terminology “East Coast Economic Region” is more apt since the ECER’s objective is to develop the economy in the Region. This terminology also avoids confusion since the ECER has several development corridors and sub-corridors identified in its Master Plan.

What is the ECER Master Plan 2.0?

The original ECER Master Plan (EMP1.0) was approved by the Government in 2008, and it served as the basis to guide the development of ECER until 2020. It identifies projects and programmes to reduce regional socio-economic disparities, eradicate poverty and improve income and wealth distribution in a sustainable manner.

Following the success of the EMP1.0 framework in transforming the socio-economic landscape of the ECER, the ECER Master Plan 2.0: The Next Leap 2018-2025 (EMP2.0) was launched in 2019 to continue ECER’s drive into its next leap of growth, with a development framework that leverages ECER’s strategic position as the Gateway to Asean and Asia Pacific.

EMP2.0 builds upon the Region’s current achievements while pivoting towards new, greenfield opportunities in value-added and high-technology products and services in the IR4.0 era. EMP2.0 outlines key strategies, high-impact projects and inclusive people-centric programmes that are geared towards helping the Region move up the value chain, with a particular focus on making ECER the Industry 4.0 hub for the Asia Pacific region.

What is a Key Development Area?

A Key Development Area (KDA) is an economic area within ECER identified to promote concentrated and optimised development. 7 Key Development Areas (KDA) or Nodes have been established in ECER to accelerate the Region’s development:

  • Node 1, ECER Special Economic Zone (ECER SEZ)
  • Node 2, Cross-Border Development
  • Node 3, KTCC – Kenyir – Dungun Triangle
  • Node 4, Mersing – Rompin
  • Node 5, Gua Musang – Kuala Lipis
  • Node 6, Bentong – Raub
  • Node 7, DARA – LKWJ

Each Node represents a major population centre and a resource-rich area.

These Nodes focuses Government resources to implement strategic and high-impact projects and programmes to catalyse economic activities in targeted locations. With this focused development strategy, the Government has transformed the socio-economic profile of the Region, while successfully creating thousands of new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for the local communities.

What key impact can we expect from the successful implementation of the socio-economic transformation programme under ECER Master Plan 2.0?

ECERDC targets that from 2018 to 2025, there will be:

  • RM70 billion in new private investment
  • 120,000 new job opportunities created
  • 60,000 new entrepreneurs created

The EMP2.0 envisions that the ECER will re-engineer its socio-economic structure from an input-based economy to a knowledge-intensive and productivity-driven economy. ECER will take its Next Leap forward to be a developed Region by 2025, underpinned by six (6) strategic initiatives, which consist of:

  • increasing labour productivity
  • diversifying the economic base
  • facilitating economies of scale
  • mobilising the labour force
  • leveraging connectivity
  • enhancing the enabling infrastructure

ECER is rich in cultural and environmental heritage. How would this rich heritage be preserved?

ECER has put in place an Environmental Policy to ensure responsible environmental management of its large expanses of forests, wetlands and rich marine ecosystems, much of which are within the Environmental Sensitive Areas. ECER also has a rich cultural heritage, which is unique to the area. All development in ECER will be undertaken with the view to preserve both the cultural and environmental heritage.

What are the key economic clusters?

Since its establishment in 2008, the economic growth of ECER has mainly been driven by private investment in five key economic clusters, namely Manufacturing, Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals, Tourism, Agribusiness and Human Capital Development.

Under the ECER Master Plan 2.0 (EMP2.0), Logistics and Services has been identified as a key sector that enables economic growth across economic clusters. As such, Logistics and Services is the sixth economic cluster targeted for growth in the Region.

What are the key benefits and advantages of investing in ECER?

ECER has many strengths, some of which are:

  • Strong government support
  • Attractive and competitive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives
  • Advantageous geographical orientation
  • Abundance of land and natural resources
  • Good land, air & rail connectivity
  • Competitive wage rate
  • Large international business communities
  • Skilled and multilingual workforce
  • Market-oriented economy

How does ECERDC improve the quality of life of the people?

ECERDC adopts a multi-pronged Human Capital Development programme to eradicate poverty, improve skillsets and enhance entrepreneurial opportunities. By being a part of this multi-pronged Human Capital Development programme, the rakyat is able to participate in the growing economy, thereby improving their quality of life.

How can one participate in the entrepreneur ECER programme?

In order to participate in the entrepreneur ECER programme, one has to meet certain criteria. The full details of the criteria and application forms are available here.

What is DARA & LKWJ?

DARA and LKWJ is one of ECER seven key development areas. ECERDC is reviving the two areas with the objective of improving the physical environment, making it more conducive to live and pursue economic activities. DARA and LKWJ consist of six areas namely Jerantut, Maran, Pekan, Rompin , Bera and Temerloh. The development implemented comprises infrastructure works, public amenities, maintenance & operation, Kampung Tradisi and strategic projects.