: The East Coast Economic Region (ECER) has attracted RM101.4 billion in private investments and created over 140,000 jobs until December last year since its socio-economic transformation in 2008.
The ECER covers Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and the district of Mersing in Johor.
The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) said over 24,000 micro, small and medium entrepreneurs were also developed through its various programmes such as the ''Empower ECER'', ''Entrepreneur ECER'' and ''TERAJU@ECER''.
"These entrepreneurs have helped to boost the local economy by generating over 31,000 jobs.
"What is more remarkable is the success of some of these entrepreneurs who started at the micro level, have now moved into the international markets," it said in a statement.
ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John, said in line with the government''s Economic Transformation Programme, the increasing network of local entrepreneurs was one of the key strategies of ECERDC to improve the people''s living standards in the ECER.
"This goal is also supported by the implementation of strategic infrastructure projects and attracting private investments to generate more jobs, entrepreneurs and to provide on-going socio-economic spillovers to the people regardless of background and race," said Issace.
He said last year, 20 local companies secured RM8.5 million worth of contracts to export their products to China during the ''Entrepreneur ECER'' programme held in Nanning, China at the China-ASEAN Exposition.
The ''Entrepreneur ECER'' programme has also enhanced the income of over 6,000 participants to an average of between RM5,000 and RM300,000 per month.
For the ''Empower ECER'', he said, focus was given to the Bottom 40 (B40) group so that it too could could become competitive entrepreneurs or get better jobs with higher income.
The B40 group includes single parents, unemployed graduates and the disabled where the programmes held were aimed at providing high-value skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship.
Meanwhile, for ''TERAJU@ECER'', Issace said, a total of 157 Bumiputera projects had benefited from the programme with an investment contribution worth RM15.5 billion with over 17,800 job opportunities.
"These achievements reflect the increased participation of Bumiputeras in the ECER, in line with the inclusive policy of the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Agenda.
"The transformation of entrepreneurs has had positive impact and encourages participants to make greater success and become an inspiration to the people of ECER," he said.
The ECERDC initiatives to empower people in the ECER have gained international recognition when it has been nominated for the ''Best Economic Transformation Programme'' by the Global Good Governance (3G) Awards 2017 Committee.
"The nomination for the awards itself this year was already an achievement as only four economic transformation programmes around the world have been shortlisted by the selection committee," said Issace.
The 3G Awards, organised by a United Kingdom-based organisation, Cambridge IF Analytica, are presented to governments, corporates and non-governmental organisations for excellence in transparency, good governance and social responsibility.
It will be held on April 24, 2017 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.