PUTRAJAYA: The East Coast Economic Region (Ecer) has attracted a total of RM101.4 billion in private investments as of this year said the council that is managing its development. In the first quarter of this year, the development corridor signed on two projects in Johor. The two projects in Mersing Johor were the "Dairy Valley" in Jemaluang to produce four million litres of fresh milk by 2021 and the Mersing Homestay Tourism Development in Kampung Air Papan. The Ecer Development Council (ECERDC) said the total investments had contributed to 92% of Ecer's RM110 billion investment target that were projected to be achieved by 2020. ECERDC said the investment has resulted in the creation of more than 140,000 job opportunities in the economic development region based in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Mersing, Johor. "Around 73% of these jobs are for skilled workers as well as technical and management roles, reflecting the growing opportunities for local talents to obtain better high-income jobs," it said in a statement released after the Ecer meeting at Perdana Putra today. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who is the ECERDC chairman. ECERDC said the socio-economic transformation had enabled a more balanced and integrated development across the urban and rural areas in the development region. It added than 24,000 newly-established micro, small and medium entrepreneurs were created in the region, generating some 36,000 jobs for the people. "These entrepreneurs were created through ECERDC's human capital development programme and investment efforts," it said. It added more than 310,000 households had benefited from the human capital development and poverty eradication programmes such as 'Empower Ecer' and Entrepreneur Ecer. "Of this total, 97% are from the B40 group, including some 17,500 Orang Asli households," it said. Najib also presented the "Anugerah Usahawan Terbilang entrepreneur Ecer" award to 19 entrepreneurs at an inaugural ceremony held soon after the meeting. The award was presented as a recognition to entrepreneurs that had provided significant contributions brought to their local communities in the region. The top entrepreneurs were chosen across various backgrounds, including from the Orang Asli group, youth and the disabled.