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Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) would be able to record double digit growth in foreign direct investment (FDI) this year.

KUALA LUMPUR (March 21): The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) is confident that the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) would be able to record double digit growth in foreign direct investment (FDI) this year.

Chief executive Datuk Redza Rafiq said the region would continue to be a destination for FDIs because of its condusive business environment and culture, strong infrastructures and logistics network.

“If the ecosystem is good, there is no reason why I should not be confident that NCER would continue to be the destination of choice for FDI,” he told Bernama in an interview.

He said last year, the amount of FDI into the region as reported by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) was RM15.3 billion.

The authority itself was able to attract almost RM10 billion investments, of which 90 per cent came from foreign investors.

Redza said the NCER, through its “Corridors and Cities” (C&C) Labs had identified six new development areas to be further explored this year.

The areas are bioTECHNOLOGY [], transportation-based manufacturing, paddy estate amalgamation scheme, large scale pineapple farming, healthcare travel and shared services among companies in the NCER.

The C&C Lab is a federal government initiative to align the initiatives among all corridors, solve issues and develop detailed implementation programmes critical to ensuring executive and monitoring.

Redza said the labs were aimed to bring the five economic corridors — NCER, East Coast Economic Corridor, Iskandar Malaysia, Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy and Sabah Development Corridor — to the next level, with a higher contribution from the private sector in new areas of development.

“C&C Labs have helped to resolve the development challenges of the economic corridors and build on the existing development programmes such as the 10th Malaysian Plan, the Economic Transformation Programme and Government Transformation Programme as well as the development programmes being implemented at state and the corridor level,” Redza said.

Towards this, he said the NCIA will be hold a C&C Lab Open Day this Saturday at Padang Esplanande in Taiping. The event will be officiated by Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The road show is aimed at educating the public on the outcome of the C&C Labs which had taken place from September 12 to November 4 last year as well as to inform the progress of the NCER which encompasses four states — Perak, Penang, Kedah and Perlis, Redza said.

“Through this CNC Lab Open Day, I would like to call upon the people in the northern region to come visit and grab the opportunities that we are preparing to bring the region to the next level.”

He said NCIA task would be to drive the economic development in the region by leveraging on private sector participation in the northern region, in line with the 10th Malaysian Plan where the private sector has been identified as the key driver for economic growth in the country.

“The NCIA’s development programme has been formulated to strengthen the economy of the northern region as well as to enhance the well being of the people.”

The programmes crafted for the four states are people-driven in nature and are designed to enhance the well being of the people through targeted social economic activities that will actually raise income, skill set and also knowledge level as well as create job and business opportunities.

Another key focus of the region, Redza said, was the promotion of economic development through urban agglomeration which would create greater density, generate more opportunities and attract more talents.

“Talents and human capital are the main components that drive all the initiatives throughout NCER’s four key thrust areas of agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and logistics.

“This would also enable us to create a strong and vibrant secondary city that will support Kuala Lumpur.”

Further on NCER’s progress, he said it was in the process of shortlisting projects for approval from the Economic Planning Unit for implementation in 2013 and beyond. – Bernama

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