KUALA TERENGGANU, 2 NOVEMBER 2023: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) celebrated its 15th anniversary in Terengganu with renewed focus to drive Terengganu’s economic transition towards renewable energy and sustainable tourism to preserve the environment and spur long-term economic growth.

Since its establishment in 2008, ECERDC’s consistent effort has yielded a total of RM28.1 billion in realised investments to Terengganu. This investment has created over 43,000 job opportunities and more than 11,000 entrepreneurial opportunities for the people of Terengganu.

ECERDC is currently taking a concerted approach to drive investment growth across various sectors in Terengganu in line with the Terengganu State Government’s vision for a sustainable economy to reduce reliance on Oil, Gas and Petrochemical (OGP) sector.

This includes bolstering and attracting high value investments across all sectors including hydrogen and renewable energy, downstream processing of green chemicals, specialty chemicals, as well as manufacturing, sustainable tourism and agriculture to capitalize on Terengganu’s rich natural resources and diverse tourism offerings.

Menteri Besar of Terengganu, YAB Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Samsuri bin Mokhtar in his opening speech at ECERDC’s 15th Anniversary celebration at Hotel Permai, said renewable energy can be a game-changer for Terengganu and the state has been actively pursuing the energy transition programme which is in line with the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) by harnessing hydro energy and solar power. The state is also looking into utilizing green hydrogen as one of the sources of green energy. 

“For the past 15 years, ECERDC has contributed to the state’s socio-economic growth by attracting high-impact investments and implementing strategic infrastructure projects such as the Kuala Terengganu City Centre development which include the iconic Kuala Terengganu Drawbridge, Kerteh Biopolymer Park and strengthening the attraction of Terengganu islands. Currently, we are developing ECER Master Plan 3.0 (EMP 3.0) to chart ECER’s growth into 2030 with the main focus in renewable energy, green chemicals as well as sustainable tourism,” said YBhg. Dato’ Baidzawi Che Mat, Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC at the event.

Present at the event were YBM Tengku Seri Bijaya Raja, Terengganu State Secretary; YB Mohd Khuzaini Abd Rahman, Digital Economy, New Income, Trade, Industry and Green Technology Committee Chairman; YB Haji Hanafiah bin Mat, Infrastructure, Utilities and Rural Development Committee Chairman; YBrs. En. M Ahmad Shazly Ramly, PETRONAS East Coast General Manager; YBrs. Puan Rafidah Mokhdar, SIRIM Berhad Group Chief Strategy Officer and YBhg. Dato’ Ragu Sampasivam, Chief Operating Officer of ECERDC.

YAB Menteri Besar Terengganu said to further diversify Terengganu’s income, the state government is creating new industrial areas along the ECRL line. ECRL will provide the connectivity required by the new industry to transport their end products to its destination. Malaysia Rail Link Sdn. Bhd. (MRL), Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), ECERDC and the Terengganu State Government are collaborating to identify development of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and industrial parks at six (6) ECRL stations across Terengganu which will create economic spillover to the local communities.

The highlight of the anniversary celebration was an investment forum entitled “Repowering Terengganu Towards a Sustainable Future” featuring panelists from Gentari, Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corporation (MPRC), TNB Renewables Sdn. Bhd. and Nano Malaysia Berhad. The discussion revolved around repowering the industry with renewable energy, producing green and sustainable products and utilising resources in a sustainable manner, in line with the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP), National Energy Policy 2022-2040 and the NETR.

There was also a special session with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ruslinda A. Rahim, Director of the National Nanotechnology Centre who gave a presentation on the topic of Hydrogen Economy and Technology Roadmap.

Also held on the same day was a tourism business forum with panelists from Invest Terengganu, Terengganu Incorporated Sdn. Bhd. and Ikhasas Sdn. Bhd., one of ECERDC’s investors in the tourism sector. At the forum, sustainable tourism and investment opportunities in Terengganu were discussed. Since 2018 to-date, ECERDC has attracted more than RM756 million committed private investments in the tourism sector.

YAB Menteri Besar Terengganu, in his speech, also called on the investors to take advantage of the various incentives and invest in the agriculture sector as it will help address the national food security issue.

ECERDC has attracted more than RM380 million in committed private investment in the agriculture sector to Terengganu from 2018 to-date and the state is now home to the largest, commercial black pepper plantation located at Rhu Tapai, Setiu, Merang, which is expected to create 2,000 jobs for the people.

The anniversary event held at Permai Hotel brought together ECERDC’s key stakeholders from Federal and State government agencies, industry leaders, Chambers of Commerce representatives, prospective investors, strategic partners and participants of the Human Capital Development Programmes (HCD). The event also recognized seven (7) investors in various categories and acknowledged the contribution of Yayasan PETRONAS, SIRIM, Agrobank and Maybank as ECERDC’s strategic partners in the implementation of human capital development programmes and the commitment of Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) and Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) as the service providers and programme facilitators.

At the event, 41 participants of Yayasan PETRONAS empower ECER Skills Training & Entrepreneurship Development programme and Yayasan PETRONAS entrepreneur ECER programme received their certificates of participation. These programmes were facilitated by Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) and SIRIM.