KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — The Government has added close to RM10 billion worth of investments into the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECER), bringing the total committed private investments to RM109.15 billion, the project’s authority announced today.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak witnessed the signings between 14 foreign and domestic investors and the ECER Development Council (ECERDC) here in Parliament as part of the agency’s second quarter investment announcement.
“These new investments alone are expected to create additional entrepreneurial opportunities and over 4,000 jobs for the people in the ECER,” the council said in a statement prepared for the media.
“Importantly, ECER’s investment growth over the last 10 years has contributed significantly to the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the region, which has increased by RM9.7 billion,” it added.
ECER said the contribution was equivalent to 1.8 per cent out of the GDP growth in the region since 2007, which was recorded at 3.9 per cent.
The Edge Financial Daily had reported that domestic investments accounted for most of the total investments brought into ECER so far at 52 per cent, while foreign direct investments (FDI) made up the rest.
The report said majority of the FDI at 19 per cent came from Malaysia’s largest trading partner since 2007, China, with RM15 billion.
The United States and South Korea were next in the list with RM2.6 billion each.
ECERDC chief executive Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John said today’s signings and the investments brought to the corridor have enabled the region to grow in tandem with Najib’s national transformation programme.
“This has brought about meaningful and positive and positive impact to the lives of the people in particular through greater jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities,” he said.
The ECERDC claimed as of June 2017, more than 2017 or more than 106,000 households have benefitted from the project’s education and upskilling programme, with 97 per cent of them coming from the lower income group.
As at end-2016, total private investment in the ECER had clocked in at RM101.0 billion, 91.8 per cent of its RM110 billion investment target by 2020.
The ECER was one of the three economic corridors announced by Najib’s predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2007, as part of his administration’s effort to bolster growth in the lesser developed regions of the country.
The east coast corridor covers Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Mersing at the northeast part of Johor.