KUANTAN, PAHANG 25 AUGUST 2020: Finance Minister Yang Berhormat Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz has engaged with industry players in the agriculture sector in Pahang and Gebeng Industrial Area for a budget consultation dialogue jointly organised by the Ministry of Finance, Pahang State Government and the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC). The dialogue was organised to take into account industry input for the preparation of the upcoming Budget 2021.
The Budget 2021: Focus Group Session with Industries sought the exchange of ideas and feedback from industry players to explore efforts that would contribute significantly towards national food sufficiency through large scale and commercial farming towards the creation of new economic and investment opportunities in Pahang. The syndication with these industry players is vital to the preparation of Budget 2021, which will be tabled in the Parliament before end of the year.
“Through today’s dialogue, with the Government’s support, we will be able to unlock the economic potential and help to attract even more investments and trade activities for these sectors in Pahang,” said Encik Baidzawi Che Mat, Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC.
COVID-19 has underlined the importance of the agriculture sector on the nation’s food security. As such, it is important to engage with the agriculture players to identify strategies and way forward to ensure efficiency and long-term sustainability of this sector in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).
The Focus Group Session with the Agriculture Industry was attended by 18 industry players, of which four are ECERDC’s anchor companies, namely The Holstein Milk Company Sdn Bhd, Rompin Integrated Plantation Industries Sdn Bhd, MHC Cold Storage Sdn Bhd and CSC Integrated Herbal Farm Sdn Bhd.
Among the key strategies in ECER Master Plan 2.0 (EMP 2.0) is to introduce large-scale, commercial agribusiness ventures utilising the Anchor Company Model. The implementation of the Anchor Company Model is a game-changer for ECER’s agriculture sector. Through this model, the Government through ECERDC will invests in the necessary infrastructures while the qualified companies and experts from the private sectors are appointed to manage the agribusiness projects and invest in the necessary technologies.
“The Anchor Company Business Model, which forms the basis of ECERDC’s agribusiness cluster, is proven to be a successful public-private cooperation, transforming the agriculture industry, providing employment opportunities and improving the livelihood of the local communities. This approach will propel Pahang’s economy by attracting private investments, which in turn will create income opportunities for the locals while enhancing the nation’s food security,” added En. Baidzawi.
One of the key projects in ECER that has implemented this business model is the Muadzam Shah Cattle Research and Innovation Centre (MSCRIC), which was built by ECERDC to be a centralised hub to spearhead the development and expansion of the local dairy industry. Through partnership with The Holstein Milk Company Sdn Bhd, MSCRIC has successfully transformed the local agriculture industry in Pahang. MSCRIC is now producing 6 million litres of milk a year and targets to produce 7 million litres of milk per year which is 16% of the country’s milk production this year.
Another successful agriculture project in Pahang is the Rompin Integrated Pineapple Plantation (RIPP), which aims to cultivate 1,200 areas of land to produce MD2 pineapple for export market. The project provides the local community, including the Orang Asli, opportunities to be contract farmers for the anchor company, Rompin Integrated Plantation Industries Sdn Bhd. The RIPP project produces 30,000 metric tonnes of fresh pineapples annually.
In addition, another engagement session with industrial players in Gebeng Industrial Area was carried out to obtain valuable inputs to boost further investments into the Gebeng Industrial Area in Pahang.
The Gebeng Industrial Area located within the ECER Special Economic Zone (ECER-SEZ) has been identified as a high-growth area for the manufacturing sector. Even though ECER-SEZ represents only six percent of the entire ECER area, this 25km by 140km strip acts as the catalyst of focused economic growth and concentrated decentralisation of economic activities in the Region, attracting 56% of the investment in the Region to date.
To further strengthen the Region’s appeal as a distinctive and dynamic destination for investments, ECERDC and the Pahang State Government have established the Gebeng Investor Facilitation Centre (GIFC). The GIFC will see the Federal and State governments collaborating to facilitate the realisation of investments into the Region as well as business activities for investors. This will significantly elevate the ease of doing business for investors and ensure business activities run smoothly and timely, especially during the post COVID-19 period.
Additionally, ECERDC is working closely with the relevant Ministries to enhance key strategic infrastructure facilities such as electricity, water supply and broadband to support growing investor requirements. The ECER Incentive Package will continue to be offered to attract more investors into the Region. This is in addition to enhancing the overall well-being of the rakyat through the enhanced ECER Talent Enhancement Programme (ETEP), a reskilling and upskilling programme in line with the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA).
The Dialogue Session with Gebeng Industry Players was attended by representatives from 12 global companies such as Kaneka (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, BASF Petronas Chemical, Eastman Chemical (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Flexsys Chemicals (M) Sdn Bhd. These industry players have established their presence at Gebeng Integrated Petrochemical Complex.
“The sessions held today were very fruitful. We trust that the feedback raised will be taken into consideration for the development of Budget 2021. We will continue to engage with industry players and the State Government to ensure that we are aligned in our strategies to spur investments and socio-economic growth in the Region,” concluded Encik Baidzawi.
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 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, investment 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