Despite pandemic, East Coast Economic Region attracts RM5.5b investments in 2020, says council chairman

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin chaired the ECERDC Council virtual meeting today. — Bernama pic
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin chaired the ECERDC Council virtual meeting today. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 ― Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) has managed to attract committed investments worth RM5.5 billion and realised investments totalling RM4.2 billion in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) in 2020.

ECERDC chief executive officer Baidzawi Che Mat said the federal government’s extension of investment incentives for a further two years until December 31, 2022 will attract new investments and bring the region's momentum back on track.

The ECER Incentive Package includes income tax exemptions, investment tax allowance, deductions for agriculture investment and stamp duty exemption for promoted activities.

“ECERDC will capitalise on the extension of incentives to aggressively promote ECER as an investment destination over the next two years to regain lost ground due to the pandemic.

“Barring further indications of a prolonged global economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, ECERDC is maintaining its target of securing a total of RM70 billion in private investments by 2025, as outlined in the ECER Master Plan 2.0 (EMP 2.0),” Baidzawi said in a statement today.

The statement was issued following the ECERDC Council virtual meeting today, chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Also virtually present were Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob, Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Ir. Hasni Mohammad, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz,.

Baidzawi said in the nearer term, the region’s economic recovery will be driven by the agribusiness and tourism sectors.

This will be underpinned by sustained human capital development, with particular focus on Industry 4.0 (IR4.0) skills which will be a key factor towards building the rakyat’s capacity and resilience in preparation for post-Covid-19 challenges.

For agribusiness, he said among the projects expected to contribute towards improving national food security is the Tok Bali Transformation Plan, which aims to create a self-sustainable ecosystem for the fisheries industry.

Meanwhile, the Jemaluang Dairy Valley project is an integrated development project, encompassing both upstream and downstream activities, and it is expected to boost national milk production by 11 per cent, said Baidzawi.

As for the tourism industry, he said ECERDC is focusing on enhancing infrastructure and facilities, taking into account the carrying capacity of ECER’s world-renowned island destinations to protect the natural assets.

“Among the projects to be implemented are the upgrading of the solar hybrid system in Pulau Kapas, Terengganu and development of Pulau Suri in Kelantan,” he added. ― Bernama

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