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Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) is entering the second phase of strengthening private sector participation in the regional economy starting next year (2013).

NCIA is the statutory body responsible for establishing directions, policies and strategies in relation to the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) development programs.

The NCER development encompasses the states of Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Northern Perak with a vision to achieve a world-class economic region by the year 2025.

It aims to become a sustainable economic region empowered by a population living a balanced lifestyle with a holistic approach to business.

NCIA Chief Executive, Datuk Redza Rafiq was quoted as saying “The NCIA is confident of the continued interest of foreign direct investors in the region because of the complete eco-system in the Northern Corridor, namely the right business culture, the right skills, an efficient and comprehensive logistics network, and excellent facilities”

“At the same time, we want to carve out business opportunities for the local small and medium enterprises arising from the FDIs,” Datuk Redza Rafiq told Bernama in an interview last week (23 June 2012).

The second phase will be achieved by sustaining an unbroken stream of foreign direct investments (FDIs) NCER, while at the same time, carving out business opportunities for local small and medium-sized enterprises.

The first phase of the NCER development started 2007 to 2012 with the focus on securing anchor investors and building priority infrastructure.

Last year, NCER attracted investments worth RM9.91 billion, of which 90.4 per cent were foreign investments mainly from the United States, Europe, and Japan in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

There are five (5) key trusts in NCER development that has been identified such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and logistics services where these areas have huge investment potential.

As for agriculture sector development in NCER, it will be revitalised to fulfil domestic demands and exports.

This will not only raise the output of the agriculture sector, but also elevate the living standards of the farming communities, alleviating them from poverty.

NCIA will seek those with the knowledge, skills, tools and talent to help farmers deliver a better yield of high quality agricultural products and accommodate them to modern farming methods, using biotechnology and environmentally friendly applications.

This will help produce better crops, boost production and meet global food standards.

NCIA is constantly on the lookout for ways to fine-tune aspects of NCER’s economy in order to retain its competitive advantage in manufacturing.

The NCER’s edge is its ability to fast-track the implementation of high-end, value based manufacturing.  As the national economy moves up the value chain in manufacturing, NCER aims to retain its lead in this sector by constantly reinventing itself through its ‘Centres of Excellence’ (COEs).

Tourism has been a vital role in the economic growth in NCER. NCIA plans to leverage on Penang’s and Langkawi’s strong grip in tourism to tap into the vast potentials and opportunities of the region’s hinterland including the natural wonders of The Royal Belum Rainforest and Bujang Valley.

NCER is strategically located within the IMT-GT and is adjacent to the Eastern Corridor.

The IMT-GT currently consists of:

  • 14 provinces in Southern Thailand (Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Phattalung, Satun, Songkhla, Trang, Yala, Chumphon, Ranong, Surat Thani, Phang Nga, Phuket)
  • 8 states of Peninsular Malaysia (Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perak, Perlis and Selangor)
  • 10 provinces in the island of Sumatra in Indonesia (Aceh, Bangka-Belitung, Bengkulu, Jambi, Lampung, North Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, South Sumatra, and West Sumatra)

The IMT-GT sub region is a classic growth triangle, characterized by many economic complementarities, geographical proximity, and close historical, cultural and linguistic ties.

With the total market more than 70 million and land area covering 602,293.9 square kilometres, the potential for growth and development for this sub region is huge.

Leveraging on this advantage, the vision is for NCER to be a major processing centre and entrepot port.

NCER will tap into the produce farmed, and goods manufactured in the hinterland, which may be processed and shipped out through the Penang Port.

The Education & Human Capital Development Plan for NCER is consistent very much in line with the aspirations of the 10th Malaysia Plan, that is to put additional emphasis on human capital development, with a view to creating a highly-skilled, efficient and morally-sound workforce that can meet the demands of the 21st century.

For the second phase of NCER development, plans and programmes are being formulated.

There are attractive initiatives will be offered including the formulation of the Perlis Strategic Development Plan, the Belum-Temengor Rainforest Integrated Master Plan, a Strategic Plan to Reposition the Kulim Hi-Tech Park and an economic transformation blueprint for the Greater Kamunting region.



(this article written for 1BINA.my)