Mega economic zone for the east coast

8/4/2009 — Malaysian Mirror
A special economic zone (SEZ), which will see the creation of two seaports, two airports and focusing on high technology, knowledge-based activities and the services sector, will emerge in the peninsula’s east coast by 2020.
The integrated development zone will give more traction to economic activities in the area and will be the biggest of such economic zones in all of Asia, said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak when launching the SEZ Tuesday.
Najib said the zone, the first of its kind in the country, will cover an area of 25km by 140km, from Kertih in Terengganu to Gambang and Pekan in Pahang.
He said it aims to bring in RM90bil worth of investments and create 220,000 jobs by 2020, adding that it would attract investments to the east coast economic corridor (ECER) and was part of the new economic model that his administration has promised for a fairer distribution of the nation’s wealth.
Special incentives for investors
“Investors in the zone will enjoy many special incentives, including a 10-year tax exemption, 100% investment tax allowance and exemptions from import and export duties.
“For the first time, investors will be offered incentives that can be customised specially for them,” said Najib, who also launched an ECER agropolitan project for Pekan to promote the development of growth centres in rural areas.
The prime minister said the planned SEZ will also see the creation of four ‘free zones’; with Kuantan port being the main gateway.
In this regard, Najib said the port would be upgraded and expanded to handle more than 30 million metric tonnes of cargo annually by 2020, from 16.8 million metric tonnes now.
It would also be able to play its roles as a major port in the east coast and a trade gateway for the Asia Pacific market.
Significant impact on the ECER
Najib said the four zones would encourage and promote chains between industry clusters that would give significant impact on the ECER economy, namely high value manufacturing, agro-based industry; gas and petrochemical; tourism/real estate; and knowledge/education and ICT as well as logistics.
Najib said although the four zones make up only 6% of the total ECER area, it has a very big economic impact, including its capacity to contribute 50% of the job opportunities, as compared to the ECER as a whole. The zones would also contribute 80% of the economic products for the whole of the ECER.