KUANTAN, 4 JULY 2023: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) celebrates its 15th anniversary on a strong foundation and stays committed in ensuring the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) remains a competitive investment destination.

Since its establishment in 2008, ECERDC has successfully attracted RM162.3 billion in committed investments, with nearly RM80 billion investment realised to-date.

“In my time as Menteri Besar of Pahang, I have witnessed ECERDC’s dedication in attracting investments to Pahang. The close cooperation between the State Government and ECERDC has yielded committed investments amounting to RM93 billion from 2008 until 2023. ECERDC should continue its efforts to bring in high-quality investments, develop local entrepreneurs and train skilled workforce to meet the investors’ demands. On the occasion of ECERDC’s 15th anniversary celebration and the Invest@ECER business forum, I would like to welcome all investors to explore investment opportunities in Pahang,” said YAB Menteri Besar Pahang Dato’ Haji Sri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail in his speech at the launch of ECERDC’s 15th Anniversary and Invest@ECER business forum at the Sultan Ahmad Shah International Convention Centre (SASICC).

Dato’ Baidzawi Che Mat, the Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC, emphasised the organisation’s unwavering commitment in attracting new investments to ECER and the state of Pahang, with the Invest@ECER Pahang Series serving as a testament to this dedication.

“From the early days of our establishment, we have focused on developing strategic infrastructure and thematic industrial parks, which have played a pivotal role in attracting investments into the region. The state of Pahang is only two to three hours away from the central business district in the West Coast. The completion of the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) in 2027 will bring ECER, particularly Pahang even closer than ever. ECERDC has also created “must visit” tourism destinations that have not only spurred the growth of the tourism industry within the region, but has also generated spillover benefits to the local communities and entrepreneurs,” added Dato’ Baidzawi.

Present during the launch were YB Dato’ Indera Haji Zulkifli Bin Haji Yaacob, Pahang State Secretary; YB Dato’ Sri Ir. Haji Mohd Soffi Tan Sri Abd. Razak, State Agriculture, Agro-based Industries and Biotechnology Committee Chairman; YB Dato’ Mohamad Nizar bin Dato’ Sri Mohamad Najib, State Investment, Industrial Development, Science, Technology and Innovation Committee Chairman; and Puan Shariah Nelly Francis, Chief Executive Officer of Yayasan PETRONAS.

ECERDC’s 15th Anniversary celebration featured the Invest@ECER business forum, the Career@ECER job fair, and Majlis Apresiasi Program Pembangunan Modal Insan for participants of empower ECER and entrepreneur ECER. The one-day event, held at SASICC, brought together ECERDC’s strategic partners, investors, entrepreneurs, and participants of the Human Capital Development Programmes (HCD). Invest@ECER featured keynote speakers sharing ECER’s value propositions and investment opportunities with a distinguished audience; including key stakeholders from Federal and State government agencies, industry leaders, Chambers of Commerce representatives, prospective investors, and businessmen while Career@ECER, held in collaboration with PERKESO through MYFutureJobs and ECER’s investors, offered more than 1,200 job opportunities, including more than 300 high-skill positions to job seekers.

The event also recognised 10 investors in various categories during the official opening ceremony for ECERDC’s 15th Anniversary and Invest@ECER. A post-event site visit to ECER industrial parks in Pahang and Kuantan Port was also organised for investors from the Central Region.

In addition to investment endeavours, human capital development remains integral to ECERDC’s agenda. Programmes such as empower ECER, entrepreneur ECER, and ECER Talent Enhancement Programme (ETEP) have benefited over 120,000 individuals in the ECER since they were implemented in 2010. The empower ECER Academic Training programme has positively impacted over 76,000 students, while the Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme has upskilled nearly 26,000 individuals. The entrepreneur ECER programme, implemented in partnership with SIRIM, Maybank, and Agrobank, has benefited over 18,000 entrepreneurs who have successfully expanded their businesses.

At the Majlis Apresiasi, more than 500 empower ECER and entrepreneur ECER participants from Pahang who have completed their programmes were awarded certificates of completion and identified employers received certificates of appreciation for their involvement in the Reskilling and Upskilling (Train and Place) programme. These programmes were made possible through collaboration with Yayasan PETRONAS, which funded the Yayasan PETRONAS empower ECER Skills and Entrepreneurship programme and the Yayasan PETRONAS entrepreneur ECER programme. Coordinators of the programmes in Pahang are SIRIM, Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT).

Also held in the same event was the launch of Yayasan PETRONAS empower ECER Skills and Entrepreneurship Training Programme (UMT) and Yayasan PETRONAS entrepreneur ECER Programme (SIRIM) for the state of Pahang.

“Building upon our strong foundation, ECERDC is actively pursuing investments in new sectors such as the growing recreational vehicles (RVs) market, both in RV manufacturing and RV parks. In support of the Government’s aspiration for net carbon zero by 2050, ECERDC is also targeting investments in green technology, electric vehicles, digital technology, and renewable energy sectors. Another key sector ECERDC is focusing on is the food security initiative under agrofood@ECER, to drive public private sector-driven commercial scale farming and attract new investments in the agriculture sector,” concluded Dato’ Baidzawi.

He also recorded his appreciation to Federal and State Government for their unwavering support, and thanked relevant agencies especially the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI), Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Invest Pahang, Human Capital Development (HCD) strategic partners; Yayasan PETRONAS and MyKasih Foundation and all HCD service providers in Pahang such as SIRIM, Agrobank, Maybank, UMP, UiTM, UniSZA and UMT.