KUALA TERENGGANU: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC)’s integrated development model and close cooperation with the Terengganu State Government have boosted investor confidence, attracting RM700 million in investments last year.
ECERDC chief executive officer Baidzawi Che Mat said the agriculture sector contributed 54 per cent of the total investments followed by manufacturing (24 per cent) and tourism (22 per cent).
“The robust investment is a key driver of Terengganu’s strong economic performance. Interestingly, last year instead of manufacturing or tourism, the agriculture sector recorded the biggest investment.
“This shows that Terengganu is becoming an attractive investment destination for domestic and foreign investors across various sectors, boosting the local economy through the creation of jobs and business opportunities for locals,” he said after the ECER Implementation and Coordination (ICC) Terengganu meeting with Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar today.
Between the year 2007 and 2019, Terengganu has successfully secured over RM34.7 billion in domestic and foreign investments through ECERDC’s projects and programmes, which in turn has created more than 34,000 new job opportunities and 3,700 entrepreneurial opportunities.
“To continue the momentum, ECERDC will focus on attracting investments in sectors such as medical devices, petrochemicals, speciality chemicals, industrial minerals, renewable energy, agribusiness and tourism by taking advantage of Terengganu’s strengths in its natural resources and beautiful islands,” Baidzawi added.
The ECERDC and the State government also jointly develop projects that have been key growth catalysts in Terengganu, including the iconic drawbridge at Kuala Terengganu City Centre (KTCC) which was completed last year
“The drawbridge linking Muara Selatan and Muara Utara of the estuary has become a new iconic tourist destination for the state and boosted tourism in Terengganu while supporting existing upstream marine industries around Pulau Duyong.
“ECERDC remains committed to our investment target of attracting another RM70 billion into the region by 2025 as outlined in the ECER Master Plan 2.0 of which Terengganu is projected to attract RM26 billion, which would create 36,600 job opportunities and 15,550 entrepreneurs.
“This will be achieved by our proven formula of implementing high-impact projects and strategic human capital development programmes and continue cooperation with agencies in Terengganu, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and PETRONAS to attract private investments,” he said.
Baidzawi said human capital development was a critical driver to uplift the livelihood of the people and through inclusive ECERDC’s programmes, which include academic enrichment programmes, industry-driven up-skilling programmes and comprehensive skills training courses.
“In 2019 alone, the empower ECER Skills and Entrepreneur Training and entrepreneur ECER programmes in Terengganu developed 426 entrepreneurs and created 959 jobs while the ECER Academic Training programme assisted 1,518 underperforming students to improve their academic performance.
“Seeing the impact that these programmes are having on the local communities motivates us.”