PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Tuesday witnessed the signing of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between the East Coast Economic Region Development Council and 10 investors in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) involving total investments of nearly RM750 million.
The investors are Felda and MMC Hassed Co Ltd which are investing RM120 million in the agriculture sector, Tropical Consolidated Corporation Sdn Bhd (RM50 million) and FPM Sdn Bhd (RM111 million), both in manufacturing, Educrest Sdn Bhd (RM108 million) in education and Pahang Technology Resources Sdn Bhd (RM250 million) in halal manufacturing.
Another five investment commitments by five investors who are recipients of the Teraju ECER-Facilitation Fund, namely Komitment Mantap Sdn Bhd (RM50 million), RD Paper Sdn Bhd (RM26 million) and Tok Bali Dockyard and Engineering Sdn Bhd (RM5 milion) all three in manufacturing, Ganu DotCom Sdn Bhd (RM17 million) in tourism and Heritage Farm (M) Sdn Bhd (RM7 million) in agriculture.
Also present were Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar and ECER Development Council Chief Executive Officer Datuk Jebasingam Isaace John.
The RM120 million joint venture between Felda Investment Corporation and MMC Hassed Co Ltd of South Korea will see the development of sturgeon fish farm in Pahang which will create a huge economic impact for 1,300 Felda settlers and their families.
The project is expected to generate a monthly income around RM10,000 for the participating Felda settlers with a payback period of seven years.
Jerantut and Jengka have been identified as among the potential locations for the project which at full production capacity, the farm can produce up to 30 metric tonnes of caviar per year with a potential revenue of nearly RM100 million.
The 20-acre sturgeon farming complex will also house an exhibition area, aquariums and a research and development centre which is poised to be a tourism attraction in ECER.
Construction of the sturgeon farming complex will commence next year and is expected to be ready between 18 and 24 months.
Meanwhile, Tropical Consolidated Corporation is investing RM50 million to establish a canned and frozen foodstuff factory at the Tok Bali Integrated Fisheries Park in Kelantan, which is being developed by the ECER Development Council.
The Tok Bali Integrated Fisheries Park is expected to emerge as a main fisheries hub for Southeast Asia.
Educrest Sdn Bhd is investing RM108 million to build an international school in Kuantan to replace their existing building.
The project will provide quality international education in the state and will further enhance ECER's attractiveness among international investors and expatriates working in Kuantan.
Pahang Technology Resources Sdn Bhd is investing RM250 million to produce halal dengue vaccine at Gambang Halal Park which is another key project being developed by ECER Development Council in Pahang.
FPM Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Felda Global Ventures Sdn Bhd, is investing RM111 million to expand their manufacturing plant in Kuantan, which will produce granulated compound fertilizers, which will be used in oil palm plantations owned by Felda nationwide.
A portion of the fertilizers will be provided to small-scale farmers in ECER.
Komitment Mantap is investing RM50 million to build a four (rpt four) megawatt solar plant in Pasir Mas, which will be the first solar farm in Kelantan.
This project will promote the usage of green energy in the state, while providing knowledge transfer opportunity to the locals.
RD Paper Sdn Bhd is investing RM26 million to develop a one-stop recycling centre in Kuala Terengganu, which will be the first and most sophisticated green technology centre in ECER.
Ganu Dotcom Sdn Bhd, based in Kemaman, is investing RM17 million to develop a virtual fashion boutique, which emphasises on e-commerce and retail tourism.
Heritage Farm (M) Sdn Bhd is investing RM7 million to develop an integrated aquaculture farm for freshwater prawns and marine fish in Kuala Terengganu.
Tok Bali Dockyard & Engineering Sdn Bhd is investing RM5 million to build a ship hangar at the Tok Bali Integrated Fisheries Park developed by the ECER Development Council.
The ECER Development Council said ECER has attracted RM49 billion worth of investments since 2007 to date, which have created close to 40,000 jobs for the people.
In the first half of this year alone, ECER has already attracted RM23.64 billion worth of investments, surpassing ECER Development Council's 2013 investment target of RM15 billion.
Pahang attracted the largest investment to date with RM23.31 billion in investments recorded from 2007 until last June, creating some 24,000 jobs followed by Terengganu with RM18.62 billion in investment (10,850 jobs), Kelantan with RM5.79 billion (4,850 jobs) and Mersing District in Johor with RM1.61 billion (208 jobs).
Between 2010 and 2013, the Federal Government has also allocated nearly RM200 million to implement 448 projects in the former areas of Pahang Tenggara Development Authority (DARA) and Jengka Regional Development Authority under the Special Fund initiative which have benefited some 494,000 local residents.
The projects include infrastructure and socio-economic projects such as maintenance and construction of roads, drainage systems, community halls, prayer halls, playground and other facilities.