KUANTAN, September 5: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) on Tuesday hosted a delegation of 22 businessmen from the Japanese Chamber of Trade and Industry Malaysia (JACTIM) who was in Kuantan to visit key East Coast Economic Region (ECER) projects within the area.

Headed by Mr Joji Ikeshita, Chairman of JACTIM’s Research Committee, the delegation was in the east coast city to learn more about the investment opportunities that are available in ECER. They were given a briefing by the Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John, which was followed by a site visit to the various ECER industrial parks in Kuantan area.

The industrial parks include the Gebeng Industrial Park, Palm Oil Industrial Cluster, Kuantan Port, Gambang Halal Park, Pekan Automotive Park, Kemaman Heavy Industrial Park and Kertih Biopolymer Park.

Among the JACTIM members visiting ECER projects on Tuesday were top officials from corporations such as Kaneka (M) Sdn Bhd, Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd., Chudenko (Malaysia) SB, Organo (Asia) SB., Marubeni Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., NHK Manufacturing (M) SB, JICA Malaysia and Fuji Xerox.

According to Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John, Malaysia has always been one of the top investment destinations for Japanese companies and the visit by JACTIM members on Tuesday reflected their strong interest and confidence in ECER.

“Japanese companies have always viewed Malaysia as an attractive investment destination since former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad introduced the Look East policy back in 1982,” he said.

“Since then, Japanese companies have found Malaysia an exciting business base and currently about 50 Japanese families have made their homes in Kuantan.

“I am confident that the JACTIM members will see value in investing in the ECER. Through this briefing and on-the-ground visit, these Japanese investors can gain valuable insight into the ECER’s investment climate and attractive opportunities that are just waiting to be explored.”

Dato’ Issace noted that the Federal Government has spent some RM2 billion to enhance the infrastructure within ECER to support private investments.

“ECER is a competitive region as it is advantageously located with vast land space, abundant natural resources, multilingual labour force and is strategically linked via land, air and sea. These factors make ECER an ideal investment gateway for the ASEAN and Asia Pacific markets, which have a combined population of 4 billion and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$17 trillion,” he said.