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Waterfront Economic Zone project expected to attract more than RM100 billion in investments over 15 years

09 Apr 2021 / 11:00 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malacca has taken the first step towards economic rebound by officially launching a new economic corridor, the Melaka Waterfront Economic Zone (M-WEZ) yesterday.

The M-WEZ is projected to attract over RM100 billion in investments within 15 years.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali said the strategic plan aims to establish a “maritime hub of Malaysia” and is expected to be completed by 2035.

It will be able to create 20,000 new jobs yearly while contributing 5% each year to Malacca’s annual gross domestic product.

While the blueprint has yet to be finalised, he said the economic corridor comprises five main zones, namely the Melaka Harbourfront, Smart Logistic Nucleus, Digital Satellite Township, Central Eco Business Park and Trade Nucleus New Township.

“The zones will have new areas dedicated to tourism products, duty-free areas, shopping malls, offices, hotels, residences and Industrial Revolution 4.0 industries, among others. We will soon be signing agreements with several investors and partners to develop the corridor.

“Ultimately, the goal is for the economic zone to be a one-stop centre. The state will encourage the development of container and general cargo ports, cruise and ferry terminals, free-trade zones, logistics hub, oil and gas terminals, ship repair yards and ship-to-ship and transfer facilities.

“It will be our clear roadmap for the next 15 years, spearheaded by the state Economic Planning Unit. We call this a ‘big move’ in Malacca’s development agenda as high-quality investments will tap into a pool of skilled workers who are better paid,” he said.

“It will be the new engine of growth, a game changer and a major economic enabler that will create new jobs (priority will be given to Malaysian workers), more business opportunities and improve income.”

The M-WEZ, which is one of the main pillars in the Melakaku Jaya 2035 Strategic Plan, is located in the state’s western part and will be under the administration of the Malacca Historic City Council and Jasin Municipal Council.

The coastal economic corridor covers an area of 10,117ha along 33km of the state’s coastline.

Sulaiman is expected to table the bill on setting up Perbadanan M-WEZ (M-WEZ Corporation) at the next state assembly sitting.

The corporation will map out and recommend to the state government policies, direction and strategies for the corridor development.

“We will ensure Perbadanan M-WEZ is run based on best practices, efficient performance and with integrity and good governance. There will be dedicated agencies providing end-to- end facilitation for investors at the district, state and federal levels. The state government will expedite approval processes for investors by doing away with red tape.”

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