KUALA LUMPUR (June 21): The ECER Master Plan 2.0 (EMP 2.0), which was launched yesterday by the Federal Government through the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), is targeting to attract RM70 billion new private investment, 120,000 new jobs and 60,000 additional entrepreneurial opportunities between 2018 and 2025.
According to a statement yesterday, the ECER Master Plan 2.0 is to accelerate the next leap of East Coast Economic Region's (ECER) socio-economic transformation, ultimately narrowing the regional imbalance and enhancing the well-being of the people.
"The launch of the EMP 2.0 is indeed a historic milestone. Capitalising on the solid foundation built on the back of the region's socio-economic successes over the last 10 years, the EMP 2.0 was developed with the Rakyat's well-being at its heart," said ECERDC chief executive officer Baidzawi Che Mat.
"Through the delivery of high-impact projects and programmes, the Rakyat will continue to benefit through the inclusive and equitable opportunities to uplift their quality of life through the jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities created in the region," he added.
To propel ECER forward in the next seven years, emphasis will be given to six strategic initiatives: increasing labour productivity, diversifying economic bases, facilitating economies of scale, mobilising the labour force, leveraging connectivity, and enhancing enabling infrastructure such as ICT broadband connectivity, said ECERDC.
Under the EMP 2.0, ECERDC said greater emphasis will be given to accelerate ECER's readiness for Industry 4.0, given the importance of the digital platform in shaping economies and driving innovations worldwide.
To set the wheels in motion, ECERDC in partnership with Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) has established the Asia Center of Excellence for Smart Technologies (ACES) at the Pahang Technology Park (PTP)'s Cybercentre.
ACES, envisioned serving as a skills development hub for people and enterprises from Malaysia and South East Asia, will equip the local talent pool as well as businesses with Industry 4.0 knowledge, hence increasing their employability, marketability and efficiency.
Meanwhile, two high-impact game-changers, namely the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the expansion of Kuantan Port in Pahang are expected to facilitate further investments and improve mobility of goods and people.
"ECRL will unlock new tourism hubs and transit-oriented developments along its alignment while the expansion of Kuantan Port in Pahang can cater to larger vessels hence reinforcing ECER as the Gateway to the Asia-Pacific region," said ECERDC.
With the ongoing and planned implementation of key infrastructure projects in ECER, ECERDC has identified a new key driver, namely "Logistics and Trade Facilitation" under the EMP 2.0, which will enhance the region's overall competitiveness by identifying, aggregating and addressing supply chain issues for ECER's existing economic drivers.
Among some of ECER's existing economic drivers are the manufacturing; oil, gas and petrochemicals; tourism and agribusiness sectors.
Over the last 10 years, ECER has undergone socio-economic transformation with its 2020 investment target of RM110 billion achieved three years ahead of schedule, said ECERDC.
To date, the total private investment in ECER stood at RM115.6 billion, 164,500 job opportunities have been created and around 38,0000 entrepreneurs have been developed.