San Diego, 24 June 2014 – Malaysia’s East Coast Economic Region (ECER) is rapidly gaining recognition among global biotechnology players as the Investment Gateway of bio-based industries targeting the ASEAN and Asia Pacific markets, said Chief Executive Officer of the East Coast Economic Council Development Council (ECERDC), YBhg. Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John.
ECERDC is currently taking part in the Bio-Trade and Investment Mission led by the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) to Minneapolis, San Francisco and San Diego in the United States, which is being held from 18th to 26th June 2014.
During the Bio-Trade and Investment Mission in Minneapolis, ECERDC met up with key biotechnology players involved in biochemical, medical devices and biopharmaceutical looking for market expansion and reducing their production cost by considering Malaysia as a hub to enter Asia Pacific market.
In San Francisco, ECERDC took part in a Business Dialogue with the Captain of Industries Session and was in discussion with leaders in cellulosic biomass conversion technology, biobased chemical, drug discovery specialists and medical devices companies.
ECERDC is participating at the Bio International Convention in San Diego and will be meeting key biotechnology players not only from the US but also potential investors from Germany, Canada, Australia and Italy.
Speaking to the media here today, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said ECER is aggressively pursuing biotechnology-related investments, particularly those relating to higher value pharmaceutical products and other niche biopharmaceutical products.
“Many US multinationals are in the forefront of the global bio-economy revolution and we welcome their presence in ECER, which is well-positioned to serve as a destination of choice for bio-based industries,” Dato’ Issace said.
“ECER is home to dedicated industrial parks for biotechnology players such as Kertih Biopolymer Park, Kuantan Integrated Biopark and Gambang Halal Park, all of which are located in the ECER Special Economic Zone (ECER SEZ). Strategically located facing the South China Sea, ECER SEZ offers them easy access to the burgeoning ASEAN and Asia Pacific market with a combined GDP of USD17 trillion,” he noted.
The industrial parks are also in close proximity to abundant feedstock supply, such as wood and oil palm biomass. In addition, they are located near the Kuantan Port which is currently being expanded into a deepwater port.
Transport, logistics and cargo throughput will be boosted once the expansion of the Kuantan Port is completed in 2016. By then, the port would be able to accommodate Post-Panamax container vessels and Cape-sized bulk carriers of up to 200,000 DWT.
“ECER is also expanding its bioeconomy initiatives which include the setting up of a biomedical cluster in Gambang Halal Park and an oil palm biomass cluster in Kuantan Integrated Biopark. The biomedical cluster in Gambang Halal Park will focus on attracting niche biopharmaceutical and medical devices companies, as well as leveraging on ECER’s Integrated Herbal Clusters to produce pharma-grade and clinically-tested herbal products,” Dato’ Issace added.
Investors in ECER can also take advantage of the attractive package of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives offered in the Region, which include include 100% income tax exemption for up to 10 years or 100% investment tax allowance for up to five years, stamp duty exemption, and flexibility in the employment of expatriates, among others.
To date, ECER has attracted the presence of global biotechnology players such as America’s Gevo Inc, France’s Arkema, Korea’s CheilJedang and China’s Beijing Goldenway Biology Tech Co Ltd.
ECER has attracted RM63.58 billion worth of investments since 2007 to date, which have created some 65,000 jobs opportunities. Of this amount, RM25.7 billion comes from investments in ECER SEZ. Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in ECER SEZ have triggered the growth of downstream industries and established a strong SME base in the Region.
US has consistently ranked among the top three investing nations in Malaysia for more than 40 years. Malaysia has been a preferred investment destination of US multinationals since the 1970s, who have been attracted by the country’s political stability; liberal, pro-business government policies; progressive & vibrant economy; modern infrastructure; and well-educated English speaking talent pool.