KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 5): The Federal government through the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) has successfully attracted a total of RM9.5 billion in committed investments to Pahang in the first half of 2021.
In a statement, the statutory body established to spearhead the execution and implementation of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) Master Plan said the committed investments exceeded the targeted RM5.1 billion for the year 2021.
With the committed investment, it is anticipated to create more than 6,700 new jobs and 170 entrepreneurial opportunities for the rakyat in Pahang.
“The outstanding investment is a testament of the close cooperation between ECERDC, the Federal and State governments as well as relevant agencies that has led to the significant new investments varying from integrated highland development, expansion of steel manufacturing plant and glove manufacturing in Pahang for 2021,” it said.
ECERDC noted that through the collaboration with Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (MGTC), SIRIM and Asia Center of Excellence for Smart Technologies (ACES), it would position Pekan Automotive Park (PAP) as a “Green Automotive Industrial Park” and it is expected to attract new investments in the manufacture of electric vehicles (EV).
In the meantime, ECERDC is maintaining its focus in boosting economic growth in Pahang Barat through agriculture and tourism activities which the Pahang State government has identified suitable land for the ECER Dairy Valley project to raise the country’s self-sufficiency level (SSL) of fresh milk by 40%.
ECERDC would continue its efforts to drive the agrofood@ECER initiatives to address the food security concerns by focusing on farming sectors which include coconuts and fertigation crops such as chilis and tomatoes.
For human capital development, ECERDC said empower ECER-Academic programme has helped students from poor families to achieve better academic results despite challenges brought by the pandemic.
In 2020, a total of 2,173 participating students in Pahang showed a commendable achievement in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exam, with 92 per cent of participants passing their exams compared to 46 per cent passing before joining the programme.
In addition, ECERDC, via empower ECER and entrepreneur ECER, continues to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to survive the new reality by providing training to help them switch to e-commerce platforms to keep their businesses afloat as well as financial assistance.
Between January and May 2021, a total of 173 existing entrepreneurs in Pahang have received loans from Maybank and Agrobank amounting to RM5.5 million under the entrepreneur ECER programme to improve cash flow and working capital as well as strengthen their businesses.
Meanwhile, 94 others benefitted from the product development from SIRIM comprising branding and labelling to help boost sales.
Chief executive officer Baidzawi Che Mat said Pahang remains at the forefront of economic growth in ECER, with strong contribution from the manufacturing sector.
“ECERDC is committed to ensuring this economic growth continues in the state so that the benefits will spill over to other states as new strategic sectors and their respective value chains continue to grow and evolve across the ECER.
“As such, ECERDC will continue to implement high-impact projects and initiatives that will bring about long-term benefits to the economy and in raising the living standards of the people in Pahang,” he said.
Source : The Edge Markets – 6 August 2021 (Friday)