2/4/2013 — New Straits Times
KUALA LUMPUR: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) is in various discussions with investors involving some RM11 billion worth of investments.
Chief executive officer Datuk Jebasingam Issace John said most of these talks are yet to be finalised but there are a few that are nearing finalisation.
“There will be some significant announcements for both Kuantan and Kertih soon in the biotechnology and oil and gas sectors from American and European investors,” he said in an interview here recently.
Jebasingam said ECERDC has set a modest target of RM10 billion in committed investments this year “but like last year, we expect we will exceed this target”.
He said the expectation is based on the Malaysia China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) project which will be launched tomorrow and the other investments which are coming into the East Coast Economic Region.
In 2012, ECER had secured RM12 billion worth of committed investments, RM2 billion more than the original target.
He said this year, the launch of MCKIP which will involve the upgrading of Kuantan Port, will further boost ECER’s progress.
“ECER is well-positioned now to be a competitive investment destination given the infrastructure and the strategic location of the port. With the incentives provided by the government, ECER is poised to become a high potential investment region,” he said.
Since its establishment in 2007, ECER has harnessed RM38 billion in investments and created 30,000 jobs.
He said the MCKIP project, which will see the first phase completed in 2015 if not earlier, will play a pivotal role in the socio-economc transformation of the region, bringing with it a better quality of life for the local population.
Jebasingam said MCKIP and its sister park in China, the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park, will promote cross-border movement of goods and services between Malaysia and China, for re-distribution worldwide.
Locating MCKIP near to a port was critical, he said, and Kuantan Port is only five kilometres away from MCKIP.
“Kuantan Port is the shortest, quickest and most direct route to Qinzhou Port, whereby the shipping time between the two ports is three to four days, while flying time between Kuantan and Nanning is around three hours,” he said.
He added that in MCKIP, Malaysian companies can become investors in their own right or enter into joint ventures with foreign partners.
“They can also become involved in midstream and downstream activities to support the main players. MCKIP’s eco-system will also generate demand for a variety of trading services, retail outlets and commercial activities,” he said.