PAHANG, 29 SEPTEMBER 2020: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) and the Pahang State Government will focus on developing strategic economic sectors such as Tourism and Manufacturing to spur economic growth in the state. Strengthening the tourism and manufacturing industries are crucial as both sectors have been affected by the pandemic.
Tourism is one of the pillars of the Pahang State Strategic Plan 2050 and a major source of income as the state is well-known for world-class tourism destinations. Therefore, ECER’s tourism development in Pahang will be in line with the state’s slogan of “Pahang, Simply Awesome”.
ECERDC has implemented various development programmes to boost the tourism sector in Pahang. Leveraging on ECERDC’s ‘Rainforest to Reef’ (R2R) concept, all products, assets and tourism development are linked to offer experiential tourism to tourists, while ensuring sustainability for future generations and contribute to the state’s socio-economic development in the long-term.
Among projects undertaken by ECERDC in support of tourism in Pahang include upgrading works of key tourism facilities, as well as conservation and preservation programmes at some of the most popular and important tourism destinations in the State. This will ensure that these attractions remain attractive and sustainable in the long-term.
A key ecotourism destination is Tasik Chini, Malaysia’s second biggest natural freshwater lake and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Since 2009, ECERDC has carried out various conservation and preservation efforts to ensure that Tasik Chini remains a sustainable tourist destination. Among them are reforestation programme, upgrading the water quality monitoring stations and creating lotus nurseries in Tasik Chini to replenish the lotus population in the area. Another destination is Taman Negeri Rompin, one of the oldest rainforests. ECERDC and the Pahang state government recently unveiled the Rainforest Discovery Centre at Taman Negeri Rompin which will further enhance the state park’s attraction.
Pahang also boasts island and beach tourism with world-class destinations such as Pulau Tioman and Cherating Beach which is a popular nesting spot for green turtles and giant leatherbacks from May to September. Here, ECERDC proposes to upgrade the Turtle Conservation and Information Centre as a tourism attraction which will also create awareness on the importance of conservation.
Urban tourism is also an important segment, with Kuantan offering a variety of “must visit” attractions. Kuantan Waterfront is a bustling tourist destination, its iconic landmark, the Kuantan 188 tower, developed by the Federal Government through ECERDC is a central tourist attraction in Kuantan. Other destinations recently completed by ECERDC in Pahang include the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre and Temerloh Titik Tengah Semenanjung.
“These tourism projects ‘created’ destinations that have spurred tourism activities which will result in socioeconomic spillovers in the form of more employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for the locals,” said Encik Baidzawi Che Mat, Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC after the ECER Implementation and Coordination Committee (ICC) Pahang held today.
Meanwhile, manufacturing remains a key contributor of private investment and an important economic driver in Pahang despite the setbacks caused by the pandemic. The state’s established ecosystems, resources, and infrastructure makes it a competitive manufacturing destination. The Pahang state government has established “Kawasan Khas Daerah Gebeng Kecil” to facilitate investment and ease of doing business. Further, the Gebeng Investment One-Stop Centre (OSC) has been established to enable speedy approvals of investment into Pahang.
ECERDC is taking a multi-pronged approach to enable investment growth by enhancing connectivity and infrastructure, providing attractive incentive packages and facilitating investments as well as providing human capital development to nurture industry-ready local talents. Among infrastructure projects which will be implemented is the construction of pipeline for water supply from Kemaman, Terengganu to Gebeng which will begin in June 2021. This project is expected to further increase Gebeng’s attraction to investors. An additional advantage for investors in Pahang is the geographical advantages of Kuantan Port which makes it the ideal gateway to ASEAN and Asia-Pacific markets, which will further spur international trade as well as investments into the state.
“Enhancing trade infrastructure and investor facilitation are key catalysts for the manufacturing sector. Logistics and services is a new economic cluster identified under the ECER Master Plan 2.0 (EMP2.0) as it is a key enabler for socioeconomic growth of ECER, which in turn will create new job and business opportunities for the rakyat,” said Encik Baidzawi.
“It is crucial that the socio-economic development in Pahang post-COVID 19 pandemic is accelerated for the sake of the rakyat’s well-being. ECERDC is committed to enabling economic growth by supporting key economic sectors in the state. This includes enhancing the tourism sector with strategic infrastructure works. High-impact projects such as the Kuantan Port City development will spur domestic economic activity and private investments into the state. This will bring about direct socio-economic benefits to the rakyat through increased jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities,” added Encik Baidzawi.
Out of the RM31 billion investment target for Pahang under the EMP 2.0 from 2018 to 2025, Pahang has attracted RM9.38 billion in committed investment from 40 projects which will create more than 8,300 jobs and 760 entrepreneurial opportunities. A total of RM1.93 billion has been realised within the same reporting period.
In terms of human capital development, over 12,400 locals including the Orang Asli participated and benefited from initiatives under ECERDC’s empower ECER Academic Training (10,232) and Skills and Entrepreneurship (2,255) programmes while under entrepreneur ECER, 1,196 entrepreneurs have been developed and 2,880 jobs were created under EMP 2.0. Under PENJANA-ECERDC, which is known as ETEP Enhanced – Train and Place, ECERDC targets to upskill 1,500 unemployed youths and those retrenched because of COVID-19 pandemic starting from September.
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 4.8 million people, or about 15% of the total national population. The economic growth in the Region is driven by six key economic clusters, namely Tourism, Oil, Gas & Petrochemical, Manufacturing, Agribusiness, Human Capital and Entrepreneurship Development as well as Logistics and Services. 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.
For media inquiries, kindly contact:
Tengku Mazlinda Tengku Mahmood
Manager, Media Relations
East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC)
Tel: 03-8885 0182 / 010-408 1085