The Government also has moved decisively to fast-track the setting up of the ECER Special Economic Zone (ECER SEZ).
The ECER SEZ will act as the national development catalyst for concentrated decentralisation of economic activities in line with the New Economic Model, which aims for a dynamic and competitive Region of growth.
The first of its kind in Malaysia, the SEZ is a concentrated area with numerous high-impact projects currently ongoing in the ECER.
By declaring the area an SEZ and supporting it with unique privileges and exclusive incentives over and above those for the ECER, we hope to attract local and foreign direct investments into the Region, compensating for any fallback caused by the prevailing global economic crisis.
The ECER SEZ is a concentration of high-impact projects within an integrated development zone located at the nucleus of the ECER comprising an area the size of 25km by 140km strip that extends from Kertih, in Terengganu to Pekan, in Pahang.
It comprises new townships, international tourism sites, 4 ports, 2 airports and a knowledge innovation zone. It is the most ideal stretch along the east coast for further urbanisation, given its established cities and towns.
The ECER SEZ acts as a catalyst for concentrated decentralization of economic activities in line with the New Economic Model.
It will accelerate growth with focused concentration, where manufacturing and commercial activities are promoted and conducted on preferential excise terms, supported by good infrastructure development as well as knowledge-based and capacity-building programmes.
ECER SEZ is the only zone of its kind in Malaysia, set to experience unprecedented growth and generate a ripple of development throughout the ECER through its significant multiplier effects.
It is now one of the larger SEZs in Asia with 390,000 hectares comprising 25,000 hectares of SEZ Focus Nodes.
ECER SEZ population expected to grow to 1.3 million and will create 220,000 new jobs, by 2020.
Its economy will move from labour-intensive industries to high-technology, knowledge-based activities and the service sector.
Even though the ECER SEZ forms only 6% of the landmass of the entire ECER, it will have a significant impact as it will create 50% of all jobs and 80% of the economic output of the ECER.
The ECER SEZ is poised to become a strategic destination for investors given its position to access the vast markets of the Far East and the Asia Pacific, with a total population of 4 billion and a combined GDP of US$17 trillion.
Investment within the ECER SEZ is estimated to total RM90 billion up to 2020.
Unit Peneraju Agenda Bumiputera (Teraju) was established on 2nd February 2011 and officially announced by the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak on 8 February 2011.
Teraju’s goal is to create a long term plan to strengthen Bumiputera participation in the economy.
This includes identifying various factors that inhibit the participation of Bumiputeras in “Entry Point Projects” (EPPs) as well as measures that need to be taken to achieve a more balanced Bumiputera representation in the economy.
Teraju was set-up as a Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department, reporting directly to the Prime Minister and the “Majlis Tindakan Agenda Bumiputera” (MTAB).
This Unit has also been tasked to act as the Secretariat to MTAB and the “Skim Jejak Jaya Bumiputera” (SJJB).
The setting up of Teraju to spearhead, coordinate and drive the Bumiputera agenda forms part of the country’s Transformation Plan towards becoming a high-income, developed, resilient and competitive Nation.
Teraju will carry out various initiatives, new and existing, as well as recommend measures to be taken, to increase the effectiveness of Bumiputera development programs and initiatives.
Teraju work closely with various parties to strengthen Bumiputera development initiatives.
For this, Teraju will streamline and ensuring speedy and effective results which includes reviewing existing Bumiputera development initiatives to strengthen Bumiputera entrepreneurship, participation in high income jobs and develop capacity for wealth creation.
Teraju will also look in enhancing institutional effectiveness by reviewing existing institutions involved in delivering the Bumiputera agenda, to rationalise the functions of these institutions and ensure that mandate and skills-sets are relevant to current context.
Teraju will work with other agencies to detail out new programmes, identify and solve implementation bottlenecks, escalate to MTAB for decision making and monitor status of implementation.
Teraju also proactively will ensure clear aspirations and targets set across key focus areas of employment, entrepreneurship and wealth creation and assess impact of initiatives and refine implementation strategies.
TERAS – The High Performing Bumiputera SME (HPBS) Programme which is intended to develop the next generation of world-class Bumiputera entrepreneurs across all 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs).
TERAS Programme will play a fundamental role in the Bumiputera Development Agenda, to develop Bumiputera SMEs that are able to grow and be competitive.
As a starting point, a total of 1,100 Bumiputera SMEs comprising the top 100 medium Bumiputera SMEs and top 1000 small/micro companies will be identified using clearly-defined criteria as well as an open and transparent process.
This Programme aims to increase Bumiputera SMEs’ participation in the economy by enabling SMEs to scale up, accelerate their growth and compete in the open market.
This Programme emphasis on developing quality Bumiputera SMEs that trigger various business opportunities for themselves and other Bumiputera SMEs.
It is the Government’s hope that these SMEs will be able to meet the target of 20% contribution to the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), by the year 2020.
This involves collaboration with various Government Agencies, Government Linked Investment Companies (GLICs), Government Linked Companies (GLCs) and private sector to provide business opportunities, talent and funding.
This fund was announced by the Prime Minister at the fifth meeting of the Bumiputera Agenda Action Council, and will be for the use of qualified Bumiputera companies in the Entry Point Project (EPP) initiatives.
The fund is established to provide support for Bumiputeras Private Finance Initiatives (PFI).
It will be a catalyst for Bumiputera companies to carry out big projects with a minimum qualifying project investment value of RM20 million.
This fund will provide additional incentives for Bumiputera companies that apply for assistance under the High Performing Bumiputera Small-and-Medium Enterprises (TERAS) programme as well as other initiatives that have been launched or under plans for Bumiputera companies.
Source : ECER Annual Report 2012; TERAJU and BERNAMA
(this article written for 1BINA.my)