KUANTAN, PAHANG, 22 MARCH 2022: The Federal Government through the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) is targeting to attract RM8 billion in committed investments to Pahang this year. This is anticipated to create more than 8,000 new jobs and 400 entrepreneurial opportunities for the rakyat in Pahang. Potential investments to be committed this year include production of medical consumables, silica processing, alloy and minerals production. This year, ECERDC is also targeting to realise investments amounting to RM3.7 billion in the state.

Under the ECER Master Plan 2.0 (EMP2.0) from 2018 to December 2021, ECERDC achieved RM19.7 billion in committed investment which is 64% from EMP2.0 target of RM31 billion for Pahang until 2025. Of this total, 54% is foreign direct investment (FDI) and 46% is domestic direct investment (DDI).

In complementing ECERDC’s 2021 performance, the Pahang Menteri Besar, YAB Dato’ Sri Haji Wan Rosdy Bin Wan Ismail after chairing the ECER Implementation and Coordination Committee (ICC) Pahang meeting today expressed his confidence that ECERDC will maintain the investment momentum and ensure strategic projects and initiatives planned for the state, such as infrastructure works and human capital development programmes will continue to be implemented to strengthen the position of the state as a preferred investment and tourism destination so that the economic benefits can be enjoyed by the locals. YAB Menteri Besar Pahang also recorded his appreciation to the Federal Government for approving the allocation for ECERDC’s human capital development programmes to be continued in Pahang for 2022.

One of ECERDC’s key projects to strengthen Pahang’s attraction as an investment destination is the construction of a 29km Kemaman-Gebeng water supply project. Once completed, it will channel water from Kemaman, Terengganu, to Gebeng, Pahang, meeting the future demand of investors in the Gebeng industrial area and strengthen the area’s attraction as a competitive investment destination. This will help attract investors to choose Gebeng as their choice location for investment. Other on-going projects in Pahang are the upgrading of Kg. Salang and Kg. Genting jetties and the Sungai Mangkai bridge in Tioman, upgrading of the Cherating Turtle Sanctuary as well as Pantai Hiburan Rompin which will strengthen the attraction of island and coastal tourism in Pahang.

“The commendable investment attracted during these challenging times is indeed a testament to the close cooperation between ECERDC, the Federal and State governments. ECERDC will continue its efforts to attract investments in Pahang’s core focus areas while exploring new industries such as RV manufacturing and tourism as presented at both ECERDC’s recent Council Meeting chaired by YAB Prime Minister and today’s ICC Pahang meeting, as well as attracting companies to set up data centres at our Pahang Technology Park,” said YH Dato’ Baidzawi Che Mat, Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC.

The Recreational Vehicle (RV) industry presents two great opportunities for Pahang, whereby ECERDC is looking at attracting German investors to manufacture RV vehicles at its Pekan Automotive Park and strengthen Pahang’s tourism attraction as the state is endowed with beautiful beaches, lakes and tourist destinations such as Pantai Hiburan Rompin and Tasik Bera which have been identified for the development of RV parks.

Other tourism-related projects planned include the preservation of the history and heritage of Sungai Lembing. ECERDC will work on maintaining the historical value of Sungai Lembing as the deepest and longest underground tin mining site which will make Sungai Lembing an attractive international tourist destination which will enhance the economy of the local people through employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in the tourism sector.

ECERDC’s holistic programmes in raising the socio-economic well-being of the rakyat are the empower ECER Academic Training programme which focuses on improving students’ academic performance, empower ECER Skills and Entrepreneurship which provides skills training and entrepreneurship knowledge to develop sustainable new entrepreneurs, entrepreneur ECER which empowers existing entrepreneurs to scale up their business and PENJANA-ECERDC which focuses on reskilling and upskilling to enable those who lost their jobs during the pandemic to find new employment. This year, ECERDC targets to train 2,200 students from 55 schools in 11 districts in Pahang under the empower ECER Academic Training programme while the empower ECER Skills and Entrepreneurship Programme aims to train 876 participants in 6 districts, with of the participants currently undergoing on-the-job training which will be completed by end of March 2022.

ECERDC remains focused in supporting the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) through its PENJANA-ECERDC programmes to increase the employability of ECER’s workforce impacted by the recent pandemic. Participants who completed the courses and passed the examinations will obtain competency/professional certifications recognised both domestically and internationally, such as NIOSH, CIDB, OGSP, IRATA and ASNT. To date, 641 participants have been trained in Pahang and 80% have obtained jobs with an average income of RM2,300 a month. This year, another 430 participants will be trained under this programme and among the courses offered are Welding and Oil & Gas Safety Passport (OGSP).

With the success of the ACES I4.0 Web App pilot programme conducted last year, the Asia Center of Excellence for Smart Technologies (ACES), established by ECERDC, is now training participants who are pursuing a career in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) under the ACES-ECER Jobs Train & Place programme, which is also part of the PENJANA-ECERDC programme. Courses offered under this programme include Software Development and Creative Multimedia. To date, 151 participants from Pahang have been trained and of the total, 131 are successfully employed in the ICT industry.