KUALA LUMPUR, 20 JUNE – The Federal Government through the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) today launched the ECER Master Plan 2.0 (2018-2025) to accelerate the next leap of East Coast Economic Region’s (ECER) socio-economic transformation, ultimately narrowing the regional imbalance and enhancing the well-being of the people.
The ECER Master Plan 2.0 (EMP 2.0), themed “The Next Leap” outlines key strategies, high-impact projects and inclusive people-centric programmes that will be implemented in ECER to sustain its transformation into a Distinctive, Dynamic and Competitive region by 2025 and beyond.
Among the key goals mapped out within the ECER Master Plan 2.0 by year 2025 include:
- RM70 billion in new private investment
- 120,000 new jobs and
- 60,000 entrepreneurial opportunities for the Rakyat
“The launch of the EMP 2.0 is indeed a historic milestone. Capitalising on the solid foundation built on the back of the Region’s socio-economic successes over the last 10 years, the EMP 2.0 was developed with the Rakyat’s well-being at its heart. Through the delivery of high-impact projects and programmes, the Rakyat will continue to benefit through the inclusive and equitable opportunities to uplift their quality of life through the jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities created in the Region,” said Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC, YBrs. En. Baidzawi Che Mat.
The ECER Master Plan 2.0 was launched today by the Prime Minister, YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also the Chairman of ECERDC, at the Prime Minister’s Office. Also present at the launch were Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Dato’ Seri Dr Wan Azizah Binti Wan Ismail, Menteri Besar of states in ECER, Minister of Finance YB Lim Guan Eng and Minister of Economic Affairs YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Bin Ali.
Also launched at the same event was the empower ECER Coffee Table Book entitled “Menyinari kehidupan, empower ECER untuk kemakmuran komuniti”. The Coffee Table Book was published to highlight the successful transformation of participants of the empower ECER programme so that they can become role models to the Rakyat not only in ECER but also for the rest of the country.
PROPELLING ECER FORWARD IN THE NEXT LEAP
To propel ECER forward in the next seven years, emphasis will be given on Six Strategic Initiatives namely: increasing labour productivity; diversifying economic bases; facilitating economies of scale; mobilising the labour force; leveraging connectivity; and enhancing enabling infrastructure such as ICT broadband connectivity.
Under the EMP 2.0, greater emphasis will be given to accelerate ECER’s readiness for Industry 4.0, given the importance of the digital platform in shaping economies and driving innovations worldwide. To set the wheels in motion, ECERDC in partnership with Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) has established the Asia Center of Excellence for Smart Technologies (ACES) at the Pahang Technology Park (PTP)’s Cybercentre. ACES, envisioned to serve as a skills development hub for people and enterprises from Malaysia and South East Asia, will equip the local talent pool as well as businesses with Industry 4.0 knowledge hence increasing their employability, marketability and efficiency.
Meanwhile, two high-impact game-changers the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the expansion of Kuantan Port, in Pahang are expected to facilitate further investments and improve mobility of goods and people. ECRL will unlock new tourism hubs and transit-oriented developments along its alignment while the expansion of Kuantan Port in Pahang can cater to larger vessels hence reinforcing ECER as the Gateway to the Asia Pacific region.
On the back of the on-going and planned implementation of key infrastructure projects in ECER, the Region is also set to experience a wave of growth in logistics-related activities. In this regard, ECERDC has identified a new key driver namely “Logistics and Trade Facilitation” under its ECER Master Plan 2.0 framework. This new key driver will enhance the Region’s overall competitiveness by identifying, aggregating and addressing supply chain issues for ECER’s existing economic drivers among them the Manufacturing; Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals; Tourism and Agribusiness sectors.
RAKYAT AT THE HEART OF ECER
On the human capital development front, the ECERDC will continue to develop its empower ECER, entrepreneur ECER and ECER Talent Enhancement Programme (ETEP) with enhancements aimed at increasing the involvement of youths and women in the labour force, boosting productivity in the Region, formalising the establishment of micro- and small-enterprises and further them into SMEs.
Emphasis will also be given to increasing graduates’ employability and building a pool of skilled manpower. These efforts are critical for ECER to transform itself into a productivity-driven economy and prevent out-migration
“The Next Leap will certainly be challenging but there is nothing we can’t accomplish if all of us, the Federal Government, the State Governments, the Rakyat, the investors, and other stakeholders, come together on this exciting new journey,” said En. Baidzawi.
Over the last 10 years, ECER has undergone a successful socio-economic transformation with its 2020 investment target of RM110 billion achieved three years ahead of schedule. To date, the total private investment in ECER stood at RM115.6 billion, 164,500 job opportunities have been created and around 38,0000 entrepreneurs have been developed.
About ECER and ECERDC
The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) is a statutory body established to spearhead the execution and implementation of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) Master Plan. ECERDC plays a lead role in setting the directions, policies and strategies for the socio-economic development of ECER by promoting and facilitating investments into the Region.
ECER, which covers the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and the district of Mersing in Johor, is a rapidly transforming region that is steadily positioning itself as a distinctive, dynamic and competitive destination for investments. Geographically, it covers a total area of over 66,000 sq km or 51% of Peninsular Malaysia. It is home to some 4.3 million people, or about 15% of the total national population.
The economic growth in the Region is driven by five key drivers, namely Tourism, Oil, Gas & Petrochemical, Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Human Capital and Entrepreneurship Development. A new driver, Logistics and Trade Facilitation has been identified under the ECER Master Plan 2.0. These clusters are supported by developments in Transportation, Infrastructure, Property and Environment to make the Region an ideal destination for business, investments and quality living.