KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 17): The role of economic corridor authorities will be enhanced as the government accelerates strategic regional development under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (pictured).

Priority will be given to high impact projects in five regional economic corridors as the government seeks to narrow the development gap among the regions in the country, he added.

The corridors involved are the East Coast Economic Region, Sabah Development Corridor, Northern Corridor Economic Region, Iskandar Regional Development, and the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.

The minister noted that the development gap has continued to widen with the central region contributing 46.9% to the gross domestic product (GDP).

“In the 11MP, the GDP of the central region expanded 3.7%, higher than the national average of 2.7% while the eastern region advanced 2.3% a year,” Mustapa said at a webinar session on the 12MP and the regional economic corridors, organised by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC).

Mustapa announced that a monitoring team will be set up, comprising academicians and experts from the private and public sectors, to ensure the success of the 12MP.

“We hope that this team will help to ensure we achieve our target to be a high-income nation by 2025,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC Datuk Baidzawi Che Mat said the main focus of the agency is to ensure that people in the east coast are able to keep their jobs following the pandemic, apart from attracting more investments to the region.

“Through ECERDC Master Plan 2.0 for the period 2018-2025, we are aiming to draw RM70 billion in investments to the region and create 120,000 jobs and  60,000 business opportunities by 2025,” he said. -Source: The Edge Markets