Monday, May 26, 2008

Malaysia - East Coast Economic Region (ECER)

Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang (plus Mersing district of Johore) are aimed to be developed state by year 2020 using the East Coast reach natural resources, talent and heritage.

To achieve the goal ECER will use the rich oil and gas reserve, algicultire as well as the existing tradional practice and craftmanship. A RM6 billion special fund is allocated to implement several high impact projects beneficial to the region.

ECER is expected to attract RM112 billion of investments in sector such as tourism, oil and has, manufacturing, agricultural and education in the next 13 years. 47% of the investment is expected to come from the private sector, while the remainder from the government. Is is expected that the development of transportaion infrastructure alone would take up 40% of the total investment.

Under ECER, the region's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to incresed at the faster rate of 7.2% compared to the whole of Malaysia's GDP of 6.3% by 2020. An additional 561,000 jobs creation and expected and the ECER household income will expect to increased to RM5,227 from RM2,267 currently.

The ECER population consists of 14.5% of Malaysia's current population (26.8 million)in which Bumiputras are the majority at 86.6% followed by Chinese (7.8%), Indian (1.8%) and Others (3.8%). ECER will also rectify the imbalance of the economy as Kelantan and Terengganu are the states with highest level of poverty in Malaysia at 10.6% and 15.4% of Malaysia's poverty.

Petronas, the Master Planner of ECER has among others, identify several factors crucial to the ECER developments:
- Identification of 50,000 - 100,000 acres of land for rubber tree cultivation as source of wood;
- Kelantan for cultivation of poultry and herbs;
- Terengganu for goat rearing and citrus valley;
- Pahang for cattle farming and pineapple orchards;
- Optimal usage of Malay reserve land (consisting of 40% of land in ECER) in which a trust is proposed to buy the land for developments and landowners will become members of the trust fund.

The ECER is under the purview of the Act of Parliement in which its implementation with be reviewed by a council presided by the Prime Minister. The Council is consisted by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mentris Besar of the four states, two Federal Government Ministers, the Federal Government's Chief Secretary, two representatives from the public sector, two representatives from the private sector, and the council’s Ehief Executive Officer. The Council power will be extensive and includes authorisation of projects on behalf of the Government.

ECER is part of the high impact implementation plan that also includes the Iskandar Development Region in Johore, the Northern Coridor (Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Northern Perak) and Serawak Economic Region.

Source: The Star and The Edge Daily.

Link to ECER Website.

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