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ECER VIBRANT: It has attracted RM37b in investments and created 30,000 jobs

PUTRAJAYA: AS one of the four emerging Asia Tiger Cub economies, Malaysia continues to roar strongly with the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), bringing in RM37 billion worth of investments since 2007 until November this year, and creating about 30,000 jobs.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced this yesterday and said that the total investment amount included RM12 billion of committed investments recorded in this year alone, and this had surpassed the RM10 billion investment target for 2012.

Of the committed investments, the logistic sector brought in the biggest piece of the pie at 37.5 per cent followed by tourism (27 per cent), manufacturing (16.8 per cent), property (10.4 per cent) and agriculture (8.3 per cent).

"I am pleased that the transformation of the ECER has continued to show remarkable progress in terms of incoming investments, project implementation and socioeconomic improvement among the locals.

"Also, the ECER has achieved the commendable feat of positioning itself as an attractive investment destination for the high-technology sector, such as biotechnology, as reflected by the arrival of global industry players in the region."

Najib also announced the re-branding of the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) in Kuantan to Kuantan Integrated Biopark, in line with the ECER Development Council's (ECERDC) objective to promote biotechnology-related activities based on oil palm biomass.

Together with the Kertih Biopolymer Park in Terengganu, the Kuantan Integrated Biopark will further push ECER's position in the biotechnology sector and enhance its role in Malaysia's bio-economy transformation programme.

To stimulate the growth of knowledge-based economy and information communications technology in the ECER, as well as to further develop local small-medium enterprises, ECERDC will also embark on a development plan for the Gambang Technology Park next year.

To date, the government has allocated about RM2.6 billion to mobilise 80 high-impact projects and programmes in the ECER under the Ninth and 10th Malaysia Plans (Rolling Plans 1, 2 and 3), comprising infrastructure projects, such as the construction and upgrading of roads and water-treatment plants, as well as social development programmes, to empower the people via education and job opportunities.

Among the notable projects that were sealed this year include the RM1.96 billion investment commitment by United States-based biochemical company, Gevo Inc, to develop a cellulosic biomass isobutanol plant in the Kertih Biopolymer Park (KBP).

Gevo will be joining Korea-based company CJ CheilJedang Corporation and France-based Arkema SA as the tenants of KBP.

Another key project in the ECER is the 685ha Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP), located within the vicinity of the Kuantan Port City.

MCKIP is the first bilateral project in Malaysia to be accorded national-level status and it is expected to attract RM7.5 billion worth of investments from local and international investors and create 5,500 employment opportunities by 2020.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arriving for the meeting on ECER with ECERDC chief executive officer Datuk Jebasingam Issace John (left) at the Perdana Putra Building in Putrajaya yesterday. Bernama pic


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