ECER Is A Win-win Proposition, says ECER CEO

1/29/2011 — BERNAMA
Malaysia’s East Coast Economic  Region (ECER) is a win-win proposition to potential Middle Eastern investors through vast investment opportunities on offer.
ECER Development Council (ECERDC) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Jebasingam Issace John said any arrangement that favoured only one party would not go far.
“For example, Arab investors may consider food security (in their decision to invest in Malaysia) and at the same time we’re talking about economic spin-offs on our side.
“So, if we go for a win-win situation, I think it’s much easier to do business,” Issace told the Malaysian media Saturday ahead of the Invest Malaysia 2011 forum here Sunday.
He said investors should take advantage of the ECER which has created an environment where the cost of doing business was competitive.
“At the end of the day, they want to make money, so the cost of doing business must be competitive. That’s why we’re offering a very attractive package of incentives,” he said.
Among others, ECER fiscal incentives include income tax exemption of 10 years, Investment Tax Allowance of 100 per cent on qualifying expenditure and sales tax exemption.
Issace said affordable land and good intellectual property legislation would also work in ECER’s favour in terms of wooing potential investors.
With an area measuring more than 66,000 sq km, the ECER covers the states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang as well as the district of Mersing in Johor.
The economic growth in the region will be driven by five key clusters of economic activities, namely tourism, oil and gas, manufacturing, agriculture and education.
These clusters will be supported by the developments in social and human capital, transportation, infrastructure, property and environment.
“Our strategy was actually to lay the groundwork first, put the infrastructure in place. Now, we’re ready to receive investors,” he said.
Issace said he recently held “very positive” meetings in Dubai with potential investors in the food and food-related industry that fit in with ECER’s efforts to become a halal hub.
“Our strategy is to go straight to high net-worth individuals. So when we were in Dubai, we met two of them with very strong potential,” he said.
He said ECER had conducted business feasibility studies for all its projects. “So, we’re in a good position to talk to people,” Issace noted.
He pointed out that winning the trust of Arab investors was an important factor in efforts to convince them to invest in ECER and Malaysia.
Recently, the ECER hosted a ground-breaking ceremony for a US$202.6 million (RM620 million) project involving Dubai-based Oilfields Supply Center Limited to set up a multi-functional common user supply base at ECER Special Economic Zone which is expected to be ready for operations by 2013.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will deliver a keynote address at the Invest Malaysia 2011 conference.
Issace said Najib’s presence in Abu Dhabi would send a strong signal of total commitment by the Malaysian government in wooing Arab investors to the country.