ECER draws RM9b

2/29/2012 — New Straits Times
PUTRAJAYA: The East Coast Economic Region (ECER) attracted 12 investments totalling more than RM9 billion in the first quarter of this year, close to meeting its full-year target of RM10 billion.
Nine of these projects, valued at RM9
billion, were announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.
They comprised two projects worth RM5.5 billion in Johor, five projects worth RM2 billion in Pahang, a RM1 billion project in Terengganu and a RM500 million project in Kelantan.
Earlier this year, three investments worth RM363 million had been approved.
Najib, in a statement issued after chairing the ECER development council meeting here yesterday, said the 12 investments were expected to create 20,000 jobs.
They will contribute an estimated RM6 billion to the gross national income by 2020.
“This is a positive start to the year and I am confident ECER will be able to exceed its RM10 billion investment target for 2012,” Najib said.
ECER development council chief executive officer Datuk Jebasingam Issace John said based on these new investments, its 2012
target would be revised to RM15 billion.
Up till December last year, ECER had attracted RM20.9 billion in investments, creating more than 27,000 jobs.
To date, the government has invested RM2 billion on infrastructure development in ECER to support the private investments.
Najib, who is also ECER development council chairman, said the scale of these latest investments was an endorsement of ECER’s competitiveness in attracting investors.
Of the RM9 billion investments, 70 per cent will be in ECER’s tourism cluster and the rest in aquaculture, manufacturing and education sectors. All the projects are expected to be implemented this year.
“I am proud to note that the bulk of these investments are from Malaysian companies. This proves that there is still capacity for more local companies to invest domestically,” Najib added.
Leading the investments were Radiant Starfish Development Bhd, which will invest RM4.2 billion in developing an integrated
ecotourism resort to be called Mersing Laguna, on 809ha off the coast of Mersing, Johor.
The project is expected to commence in the second quarter of this year and provide 12,600 jobs by 2014. Half of the investment will go towards land reclamation and infrastructure.
The town of Mersing will also see a RM1 billion resort town to be developed on 142ha by Johor Corp’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Damansara Assets Sdn Bhd.
Work on developing the Tanjung Leman Integrated Resort and Coastal Township will commence in the second half of this year, to be completed in 2022.
Another investor, Encorp Bhd, will spend RM1.3 billion to develop an integrated tourism resort and international golf course on 404ha in Cherating, Pahang.
The aquaculture sector in the ECER, meanwhile, will see the development of integrated shrimp farms in Marang, Terengganu, and Rompin, Pahang.
The one in Marang is a joint venture project between Ocean Aquatic Marine (M) Sdn Bhd and China’s Zhangjiang Guolian Aquatic Products Co Ltd, with both parties investing RM1 billion over a five-year period. The project will start by July.
Andaman Sea Foods Sdn Bhd is investing RM225 million in a 800ha shrimp farm in Rompin. It will take off by year-end.