ECER Council Out To Woo Middle East Investors

11/30/2009 — BERNAMA
To create more jobs and drive business opportunities within the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), the ECER Development Council is aiming to attract investments from the Middle East.
Malaysia is expected to attract investments totalling RM9 billion from the Gulf states in the next 10 years, according to the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority.
As of May 2009, 28 manufacturing projects from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries with investments worth US$1.215 billion were approved.
The projects were in the sectors of basic metal products, food manufacturing, wood and wood products, chemicals and chemical products, petroleum products as well as machinery and equipment.
ECER Development Council’s chief executive officer Datuk Jebasingam Issace John said the ECER has many synchronous businesses with the GCC states such as free zones, ports, petrochemical and polymer parks, real estate developments and tourism.
“Malaysia is also known as a progressive Muslim country, which will be comforting to many GCC member countries,” Jebasingam said in a statement Monday.
“This, along with the vast business opportunities available, makes Malaysia an ideal place for investment for both business and leisure,” he said.
Jebasingam said based on the GCC’s previous investments, the ECER’s projects in halal food manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and livestock, education, oil and gas as well as its by-products would be appealing.
“In addition, ECER’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with customised fiscal and non-fiscal incentives will whet the GCC’s interest further,” he said, adding that the SEZ would have speedy project approvals and project implementation facilitated by the ECER Development Council and the state governments.
According to Jebasingam, the SEZ is also attractive because it is located just two hours from the Klang Valley and has excellent accessibility to ports, airports, roads and railways.
“At 390,000 hectares, the integrated development at SEZ will contain new townships, international tourism sites, four ports, two airports and knowledge innovation zones,” he said.
The ECER’s key economic developments are in the fields of tourism, oil, gas and petrochemical, manufacturing, agriculture and human capital development.
In addition to encouraging foreign direct investment inflow, the ECER can also tap the full potential afforded by regional economic cooperation and regional market opening following Malaysia’s recent liberalisation announcements.
Among the ECER’s push for Middle East investments is its participation in the Malaysia Arab Business Forum being held from Nov 30 to Dec 1, 2009.
The forum is jointly organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute and Malaysia Gulf Cooperation Countries Business Council.