ECER Forges Ahead with Key Projects

8/3/2009 — News Release
PUTRAJAYA, Aug 3: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and chairman of the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) announced the passing of various resolutions which will stimulate the region’s economic growth.
This announcement was made at the conclusion of the ECERDC’s meeting held today. These resolutions include:
The prevailing global economic crisis had prompted for a more innovative and focused approach in minimising the impact on the local population. As such, the Council has approved for the establishment of the country’s first Special Economic Zone (ECER SEZ) as a means to entice local and foreign direct investments.
The ECER SEZ is a concentration of high-impact projects within an integrated development zone located at the nucleus of the ECER. It is a 25km by 140 km strip that extends from Kertih in Terengganu to Pekan in Pahang containing several focus nodes and free zones.
Focusing on a strategic development area for integrated projects to fuel growth, the ECER is targeting for the SEZ to attract some RM90 billion in investments by the year 2020, and is projected to create a total of 220,000 jobs.
Details of this latest ECER initiative will be announced during its official launch tomorrow morning at Pekan, Pahang.
The private sector will continue to drive the investment growth in ECER. In spite of the prevailing economic uncertainties, inward investment has been committed from local and international investors to date for the Tourism, Manufacturing, Petrochemical and Agriculture clusters.
Investors may look forward to an attractive package of incentives, exclusive to the Region, with the aim of transforming the ECER into a cost-competitive and vibrant business hub. The incentives introduced for investors positions the ECER as one of Malaysia’s most attractive investment destinations.
Each of the ECER’s five clusters of economic development has its own package of incentives, including customizable and location-based incentives, specifically tailored to the investor’s and the Region’s needs.
To further attract potential investors to invest in the ECER, the Council has also approved the award of “ECER Status” to deserving companies. It acts as the Council’s assurance of commitment to both local and foreign investors who will be contributing to the ECER’s socio-economic development.
Being an “ECER Status” company immediately opens up a multitude of benefits, including specialised ECER incentives, facilitation in loan applications from financial institutions, conditional usage of the ECER logo, fast tracking of incentive applications and the unlimited hiring of skilled expatriates and knowledge workers.
In promoting the property and construction sectors, efforts are focussed on enhancing the value of Malay Reserve/Holding Land (MRL) to benefit the landowners.
To this end, the Council has today approved the setting up of a Real Estate Trust (RET) as an investment vehicle which will provide MRL owners with joint development participation in the ECER projects, unlocking the value of their MRL properties.
At the same time, it also provides opportunities for the participation of the Bumiputera Commercial Industrial Community (BCIC) in the high potential local property sector.
At today’s meeting, the Council gave its nod to the feasibility studies and master plan for the integrated development of Kuantan Port City (KPC) and Kuantan Port which has been identified as key components within the ECER SEZ.
Developed as an industrial and logistics hub for the petrochemical, palm oil, automotive and container markets, as well as to become a major industrial and manufacturing zone, KPC covers an area of approximately 12,677 hectares and is projected to attract over RM40 billion in investments by 2020.
Components to the master plan include the widening of the port, the development of clusters for petrochemical, bio-fuel, palm oil, industrial and free zones, as well as small and medium-sized industries.
Kuantan Port will also be upgraded and widened to fulfill its role as one of East Coast’s main ports and gateway for trade to the Asia Pacific region with a population of over 2.2 billion people.
Its wharf will be deepened to allow larger ships to berth and increase the throughput from 16.8 million tonnes per annum to 30 million tonnes by 2020. Its GDP contribution to the local economy is estimated at RM9.3 billion by 2020, creating a total of 44,700 jobs.
The Council also approved the feasibility studies and master plan for the development of the Automotive Industrial Park (AIP) in Pekan-Peramu.
Encompassing 610 hectares to be developed over three phases, it is the site for the development of a manufacturing and assembly hub for the automotive industry in this Region. It will be equipped with support services and facilities such as vendor parks and testing centres.
The park will involve the comprehensive development of basic infrastructure and facilities to accommodate a plug-and-play concept, to be enhanced with marketing and promotional activities as well as customized incentives packages.
The development of an integrated vendor park and the establishment of the National Automotive Testing Centre, which is a one-stop testing centre for cars and components, will also be undertaken, as well as the positioning of Pekan-Peramu as the region’s preferred industrial park for new sectors, such as the production of electric cars and its high innovation components.
The Automotive Industrial Park at Pekan-Peramu is estimated to generate over RM4.45 billion in investments, with a total of 10,580 jobs expected to be created by 2015.
As Malaysia’s first fully integrated polymer park, the Kertih Polymer Park (KPP), formerly known as the Kertih Plastics Park, was set up to promote further downstream investments in plastics and polymer industries, by tapping into the potential synergies through integration with the nearby Kertih Integrated Petrochemical Complex (KIPC).
Spread over 140 hectares of land, the park has already attracted four investments totaling RM195 million from Hi-Essence Cable Sdn Bhd, FMD Polypipes Industry Sdn Bhd, Latenfield Pipe Industries Sdn Bhd and Petronas Polymer Technology Centre. Three more new investors have express their interest in establishing their presence in the park, bringing with them a total investment of RM2.58 billion.
The park will draw in investments from a higher value chain, especially in the fields of food packaging, automotive, electric and electronics as well as construction for local and export markets. These industries will tap into the export facility of Kuantan Port.
The Council also approved the strategy and name change from Kertih Plastics Park to Kertih Polymer Park to reflect the dynamism of its potential activities.
Projects under this initiative will increase employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, enabling the present and future generations to gain a better future and enjoy a quality of life and living standards in other parts of the country.
Based primarily on the objectives of total poverty eradication, the Agropolitan project is helping the hardcore poor build self-reliance by taking ownership of their economic progress through commercial and agricultural activities.
A distinctive highlight of the project is the allocation of a house for the hardcore poor families as well as land for identified crops and aquaculture initiatives, supported by processing and marketing activities and re-settlement.
Four Agropolitan projects have been initiated in North Kelantan (2,000 participants), South Kelantan (3,000 participants), Besut-Setiu in Terengganu (3,000 participants) and Pekan in Pahang (1,450 participants), covering the cultivation of crops and livestock rearing as primary and secondary economic activities, directly benefiting more than 60,000 people within the East Coast Region.
For Agropolitan Pekan, the project involves 1,450 families including 750 Orang Asli families, elevating their household monthly incomes from RM300 to RM1,500.
The participants in this Agropolitan project will be involved in oil palm plantation and sheep rearing as a primary activity while supplementing their household income via secondary activities in downstream palm oil initiatives and sheep farming; poultry; birds nest; mushroom planting; tailoring; tourism and homestay programmes; as well as production of craftwork; aquaculture and aquaponics practices.
FELDA as the main implementing agency will manage the participants, the project and all related activities including managing the financial aspects of the project.
Meanwhile, ECERDC will act as the project’s overall initiator and coordinator, and is tasked with the provision and construction of key infrastructure and supporting facilities as well as ensuring that each project milestones are completed as planned.
Today the Council acknowledges the development of the livestock cluster of ECER. The development of the livestock cluster requires active private sector participation as anchor companies along the value chain.
Felda Farm Product Sdn Bhd is the anchor company for the integrated development of beef in Muadzam Shah in Pahang while the Terengganu Agrotech Development Corporation Sdn Bhd is the anchor company for the goat cluster in Kuala Berang, Telaga Papan and Hulu Tersad in Terengganu.
To help the hardcore poor, the Agropolitan Pekan will see some 25,000 sheep bred in Kubang Panjang, Pekan dan in 14 orang asli villages within the Pekan district.
Rabobank International has been appointed to bring in international investors via joint ventures with local companies to develop the fully integrated poultry park in Gua Musang.
The Council also acknowledges the three tier production strategy adopted in beef, mutton and poultry production, to increase the national self sufficiency level in line with the National Agriculture Policy and improve the balance of trade and national food security.
With this production strategy, ECER is targeted to produce 80,000 metric tonnes of beef, 7,676 metric tonnes of mutton and 235,000 metric tonnes of poultry by 2020.
The ECER Development Council is chaired by the Prime Minister.
Other council members include the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin; as well as Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat as the Menteri Besar of Kelantan, Datuk Ahmad Said as the Menteri Besar of Terengganu, Datuk Sri Adnan Yaakob as the Menteri Besar of Pahang and Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, as the Menteri Besar of Johor.
The Council is also represented by two federal ministers, including Tan Sri Nor Mohamed bin Yakcop, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah, Finance Minister 2.
Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hj Hassan, Chief Secretary to the Government acts as the Council’s civil service representative while Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd. Hassan Marican, President & Chief Executive Officer PETRONAS and Tan Sri Dato’ Lee Shin Cheng, Executive Chairman, IOI Corporation Berhad are the two private sector representatives.
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Box 1: SEZ Focus Nodes
Based on the concentrated decentralisation concept, the ECER SEZ Focused Nodes include:
•    Kuantan Port City
•    Kertih Integrated Petrochemical Complex
•    Kertih Polymer Industrial Park
•    Kemaman Heavy Industries Park
•    Kemaman Boat Repair and Building park
•    Gambang Science and Halal Park
•    Pekan Automotive Industrial Park
•    Tg Agas Maritime Industrial Hub, and
•    Free Zones in Kemaman Port, Kuantan Port, Kuantan Airport, and Tg Agas, as well as
•    Tourism Zones in Kemasik-Kijal, Cherating, Pantai Sepat and Kuala Pahang.