NANNING, CHINA, September 20: Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today officially opened the East Coast Economic Region (ECER)’s Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) exhibition booth at the 9th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) 2012 here in Nanning, as the industrial park made its “formal” introduction to international investors.

OAlso present at the officiating ceremony were the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China, YB Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John, as well as senior officials from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Pahang State Government, SP Setia Berhad and Rimbunan Hijau Group.

“Our participation in CAEXPO 2012 provides an excellent platform for investors, not only from China but also from ASEAN countries, to understand the potential that are available in MCKIP,” said ECERDC’s Dato’ Issace in a statement here today.

“By establishing their presence at MCKIP, international and local investors now have the opportunity to gain access to the ASEAN and Asia Pacific markets, which have a combined population of around 4 billion and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$17 trillion,” he noted.

MCKIP is expected to attract nearly RM7 billion investments and create 5,500 new jobs for the local populace upon the completion of its whole development by 2020.

Investments in MCKIP are expected to come from domestic, Chinese and other leading international players, particularly from the ASEAN region.

“Prior to our participation in CAEXPO 2012, MCKIP has already drawn sizeable interest from investors from Malaysia and China. As such, we are confident that our presence here at this expo will further position MCKIP as a leading industrial park in ASEAN,” Dato’ Issace noted.

The development of MCKIP will mirror that of its sister park, the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park (QIP). Both the Malaysian and Chinese governments have been very supportive in ensuring the successful implementation of QIP and MCKIP.

“MCKIP development will also provide a significant boost to the ECER Special Economic Zone (ECER SEZ) which will be the catalyst of economic growth in ECER, and at the same time, create vast entrepreneurship opportunities for local businessmen,” he added.

To be implemented in phases, the MCKIP development will consist of large- and medium-sized industrial lots, including those for Small- and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), commercial and residential developments, including a dedicated business centre.

In this regard, ECERDC will leverage on its participation in CAEXPO 2012 to draw more investments into the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), especially from China and ASEAN countries.

MCKIP will be ECERDC’s main focus for CAEXPO 2012, which will be held from September 21 until September 25. To promote MCKIP at CAEXPO 2012, ECERDC’s delegation also includes senior officials from the State Government of Pahang.

The Pahang State Government under the directive of the Menteri Besar has already set up a task force in the State Secretary’s office to fast track the implementation of MCKIP, Dato’ Issace said.

“Physical works have already commenced at the Park since early September 2012 and the official ground breaking ceremony is expected to take place by the end of October,” he noted.

At the Federal level, the Ministry of International Trade (MITI) together with ECERDC is working on a special incentives package for investors in MCKIP, in addition to the current ECER incentives package already available to investors, he noted.

Several target industries have already been identified for MCKIP namely, plastic and metal equipment industries, automotive components, fibre cement board, stainless steel products, carbon fibre, electric and electronics, information communication technology (ICT) and renewable energy.

The idea for MCKIP establishment was originally proposed by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during the official launch of the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park (CMQIP) on 1st April 2012.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has expressed his support to the proposal and since then, remarkable progress has already been made with regards to the MCKIP development.

Located in Kuantan within the ECER Special Economic Zone, the 607-hectare MCKIP will help enhance bilateral trade between Malaysia and China.

Kuantan was chosen because of its strategic location facing the South China Sea, which is the most direct link to the deepwater Qinzhou port and other ports in Eastern China. Well served by the Kuantan Port, it only takes 3 days of shipping time between Kuantan and Qinzhou. In addition, air travel between the two cities only takes around 3 hours.

MCKIP is the first industrial park in Malaysia to be developed jointly by both countries and the first bilateral project in Malaysia that will be accorded national-level status.

In addition to MCKIP, ECERDC will also be promoting other key ECER projects at CAEXPO 2012 such as the Gambang Halal Park, Pekan Automotive Park, Kertih BioPolymer Park and Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC), among others.

MCKIP will provide synergy with these key industrial parks within ECER SEZ, with a total development area of over 3,000 acres.

Blessed with abundant natural resources and a strategic location facing the South China Sea, that are also supported by good infrastructure and attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, ECER serves as the ideal gateway for investors who are keen to tap into the ASEAN and Asia Pacific markets.

ECER has attracted some RM32.7 billion worth of investments from 2007 to June 2012, of which RM12 billion was recorded in the first half of 2012.

The Region already has a proven track record in attracting Chinese investors. Last year, Eastern Steel Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between China Shougang Group and Malaysia’s Hiap Teck Venture Berhad, announced its commitment to invest RM1.8 billion to build an integrated steel mill in the Kemaman Heavy Industrial Park in Terengganu.

In addition, Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Products Co Ltd of China, together with its Malaysian joint venture partner Ocean Aquatic Marine (M) Sdn Bhd, plans to invest RM1 billion over a five-year period in an integrated shrimp farming project on 1,000 hectares of land in Kampong Pasir Putih, Marang, Terengganu.