PM launches Special Economic Zone

8/5/2009 — The Star
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has launched the country’s first Special Economic Zone that aims to bring in RM90bil worth of investments and create 220,000 jobs by 2020.
The SEZ, which would cover an area measuring 25km by 140km from Kertih in Terengganu to Gambang and Pekan in Pahang, would attract more investments to the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), he said on Tuesday.
The SEZ will focus on high technology, knowledge based activities and the services sector, and will see the creation of four “free zones” covering two sea ports and two airports in the area, with Kuantan port being the main gateway.
The integrated development zone will give more traction to economic activities in the area, and would be the biggest such economic zone in all of Asia, Najib said.
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,” Najib said.
The Prime Minister added that the ECER SEZ is part of the new economic model his administration has promised for a fairer distribution of wealth, to ensure that the region’s rapid growth is enjoyed by all.
He said that the ECER had so far attracted RM24bil in investment since its launch in 2007 by his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Najib also launched an ECER agropolitan project for Pekan to promote the development of growth centres in rural areas.
The growth centres would provide sustainable income for people there and help eradicate hardcore poverty, he said.