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NCIA continues to lead regional development agenda in Northern Region

TheEdge Tue, Feb 12, 2019 12:31am - 11 months ago

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 11): The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) continues to drive the Government’s regional strategies in economic development agenda, while addressing regional development imbalances, to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation.

To-date, 10 initiatives have been implemented which included greater focus on delivering high impact projects, enhancing governance and integrity, improving business processes, optimising costs and resources while consolidating operations, NCIA said in a statement today.

In executing its role, the authority works in tandem with other ministries, agencies, stakeholders and private entities to accelerate the socioeconomic development of the region.

NCIA said it had restructured its governance structure with the formation of State Steering Committee (JPN) which is chaired by the Chief Minister and Menteri Besar of the respective State governments to discuss and plan the implementation of policies and initiatives approved by the NCIA Council and to ensure effective delivery of planned projects.

“The progress of the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) projects is well on track and NCIA is undertaking various collaborative efforts to ensure its effectiveness,” it said.

In Perlis, the upgrading of the Padang Besar Railway Terminal is underway to enhance service efficiency and higher container handling volume by KTM Bhd, which will increase handling capacity from 110,000 to 150,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year and increase yard capacity from 2,804 to 3,124 TEUs.

The Kedah Science and Technology Park (KSTP) in Bukit Kayu Hitam is a new industrial park that focuses on science and technology clusters and establishment of global research centre.

“Its design and physical planning are completed and pending issuance of full planning permission. KSTP will complement the overall development of the Bukit Kayu Hitam Special Border Economic Zone, a mixed development comprising industrial park, logistics hub and commercial zones,” it said.

In Perak, NCIA will assist in the promotion of Pulau Pangkor as a tourist destination by leveraging tax incentives and duty-free status to attract more private investment into the island.

As for Penang, NCIA facilitated the inception of the Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology in 2011, which to date has approved 115 collaborative research and development projects, with 5,400 industry-relevant graduates trained.

In promoting investment to the NCER, the authority will continue to enhance the region’s ecosystem by addressing investors’ needs, fostering talent and enhancing the ease of doing business.

In 2017, the region’s gross domestic product has grown to RM186 billion and it is on track to achieve RM300 billion by 2025.

Various initiatives undertaken by the NCIA have successfully created 119,819 jobs in the region, majority of which are skilled positions.

Looking forward, high impact projects in the pipeline will enable the cumulative job creation of 161,197 for NCER by 2025.

“To achieve these targets, NCIA will focus on key initiatives such as talent and capacity building; enhance private sector participation; and social and shared value programmes by advancing the business ecosystem,” it said.

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