Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit or Teraju will help developed Bumiputera companies in the East Corridor Economic Region (ECER) to ensure their active participation in driving the country’s economy.
For that, the government has allocated RM100 million fund for this year and next that will be channelled through the Facilitation Fund manage by Teraju.
Through this fund, it is hoped that entrepreneurs in the ECER region will use the funds in the best possible way to expand and bring up their businesses.
ECER covers the states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, as well as the district of Mersing in Johor.
The ECER covers an area measuring more than 66,000 sq km, more than half of Peninsular Malaysia with the population of about 3.9 million which is 14.5% of the total population of Malaysia.
ECER is managed by East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) which is chaired by the Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak.
ECERDC is a statutory body established under an Act of Parliament, the East Coast Economic Region Development Council Act 2008 (Act 688), to drive the implementation projects and key programmes identified in the ECER Masterplan.
The ECERDC is empowered to provide for the proper direction, policies and strategies in relation to the development within ECER.
The Council is also empowered to provide for coordination between Government entities in the promotion of trade, investment, tourism and development within the ECER.
As outlined in the ECER Master Plan, economic growth in the Region will be propelled by the key clusters of Tourism, Oil, Gas & Petrochemical, Manufacturing, Agriculture and Education.
The cluster development approach that had been established for the ECER is in synergy with the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) which have been identified under Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
All the projects implemented in ECER are in line with the New Economic Model (NEM) and they include Entry Point Projects (EPPs) where the emphasis is on private investment-led initiatives and will contribute significantly to the Gross National Income (GNI).
The Region is set to prosper with an increase in population to 4.3 million and with new jobs growing by 560,000 to a projected total of 1.92 million employment opportunities.
ECER development is expected to become a major trade and industrial gateway, offering investors access to the vast, burgeoning markets of the Asia Pacific region and beyond, encompassing a vibrant market of about two billion people.
ECER has the capability to create the needed mass and demand to propel property development in the region as it can boost the property sector and property prices in the long term.
As a long term game, the higher impact would be on industrial development in buildings and land for industrial.
In addition to its distinctive, dynamic and competitive attributes, ECER has also attracted investors through its investment-friendly policies and incentives.
To enhance ECER’s appeal as an ideal investment destination, a package of attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives have already been put in place for investors who choose ECER as their base.
ECER fiscal incentives include ten years income tax exemption from the year a company derives its statutory income; five years Investment Tax Allowance (ITA) of 100 percent on qualifying capital expenditure; import duties & sales tax exemption and customised incentives to companies based on the merit of each case.
These incentives are awarded to projects that commence operations before 31 December 2015.
Overall, ECER has identified around 189 projects worth an estimated value of RM112 billion for implementation in the Region up to 2020. Of these, a total of 54 high-impact projects have commenced.
These include the launch of the Centres of Excellence to foster industry-academia collaborations, the development of the Kenaf industry, Kertih Polymer Park, Lanchang Permanent Food Production Park and Modern Farm, Gambang and Pasir Mas Halal Park, Pekan-Peramu Automotive Industrial Park, Kuantan Port City, Kuala Berang Goat Research & Innovation Centre, Goat Multiplier Farm in Kuala Berang, Goat Commercial Farm in Telaga Papan, Muadzam Shah Cattle Research & Innovation Centre, upgrading of the Central Spine Road, Small Office Home Office (SOHO) Programme, Mersing-Sedili Road, Bentong Mixed Industrial Park, and the Herbal & Biotechnology Park.
To help the local community improve their income levels and standard of living as well as accelerate rural economic growth various social development programmes also been initiated such as the Agropolitan Project in North Kelantan, South Kelantan, Besut-Setiu, Terengganu and Pekan, Pahang which is designed to eradicate hardcore poverty through various integrated agricultural and agro-based development projects.
Source : ECER Annual Report 2012; TERAJU and BERNAMA
(this article written for 1BINA.my)