New economic zone to create 220,000 new jobs by 2020

8/5/2009 — The Star
The country’s first Special Economic Zone (SEZ), launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Tuesday, is expected to generate investments worth RM90bil and create 220,000 new jobs by 2020.
The Prime Minister said the SEZ was expected to contribute more job opportunities and yields compared with the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).
The SEZ covers an area of 3,875 sq km from Kerteh in Terengganu to Pekan and Gambang in Pahang.
Najib said the ECER SEZ was part of a new economic model designed by the Government that promises a fairer distribution of wealth and growth to be enjoyed by all.
“One of the projects identified is the Kuantan Port which will get a massive face-lift. Its current annual cargo bulk is expected to increase from 16.8 million metric tonnes to 30 million metric tonnes by 2020.
“It will involve construction of additional berths and wave breakers that will see the port becoming the main entry and exit point for the export and import of goods,” Najib said in his speech at the launch of the ECER SEZ at Runchang here yesterday.
In a move to attract investors, the Government will approve a set of special incentives for them including tax exemption for 10 years, Najib told reporters later.
“The Government has decided to offer additional incentives for those who showed merit, on top of those that have already been given. This will be on a case-by-case basis,” he added.
Najib also launched the Pekan Agropolitan Project that promotes the development of growth centres in the rural areas to provide sustainable income and eradicate hardcore poverty.
He later witnessed the exchanging of the cooperation agreement between ECER DC and Felda, which is the main implementing agency to manage participants in-volved in the agropolitan project.
The participants will be involved in oil palm plantation and sheep rearing as the primary activity.
Among the guests were Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said, Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Noh Omar and ECER Development Council chief executive officer Datuk Jebasingam Issace John.
Najib also said the Government would consider creating SEZs in other areas in the country if they were suitable.
He said the SEZ would not affect the development of the ECER.