Corridors of Development

TO facilitate the even development of Malaysia, the country has been divided up into separate economic regions or development corridors. Each has its own agency that plans and initiates its growth.

The separate regions were conceptualised with the objectives of narrowing the gap between the socioeconomic levels in the nation as well as the disparities in the development between states.

There is vast potential for investment in these regions, and their development will contribute to the economic development of the nation.


Covering the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and the district of Mersing in Johor, the East Coast Economic Region covers 51 per cent of Peninsular Malaysia.

The East CoastEconomic Region Development Council (ECERDC) has come up with the ECER Master Plan that will take a regional approach in pushing the region's growth. It aims to accelerate the socio-economic growth of the region in a viable and sustainable manner.

The Master Plan will be implemented over a period of 12 years and aims to resolve key issues faced in the region, such as the widening disparities between the developed west coast states and the less developed eastern region, and income inequalities between rural and urban areas.

The Master Plan will also facilitate the development of infrastructure in the region, especially for flood mitigation, and the water supply and sewerage systems. In fact, the Master Plan is addressing five distinct areas - tourism; oil, gas and petrochemicals; manufacturing; agriculture; and education.


Administered by the Northern Corridor ImplementationAuthority (NCIA), the NCER encompasses the states of Perlis, Kedah, Penang and the north of Perak.

As the body responsible for the region's direction, policies and programmes, the NCIA's plan is to turn the NCER into a world-class economic region by 2025. This growth will be achieved with social equity and will be evenly distributed across the region.

The NCIA has identified several economic sectors - agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and logistics services - with vast investment potential. Its role is to move these sectors up the value chain by identifying the best investors that would create an environment that is conducive to business.

Social and sustainable development are top priorities in the region. The NCIA is ensuring its programmes and projects serve the local communities while driving economic growth.

The rice-bowl of the nation, the NCER is well-placed to receive agricultural development, and the NCIA has instituted projects that improve scale, marketing and distribution channels, the use of technology and good practices in agriculture, and infrastructure.


The southern gateway into Peninsular Malaysia, Iskandar Malaysia contains the city of Johor Baru and the towns of Pontian, Senai and Pasir Gudang. Iskandar Malaysia's new administrative capital will be at Nusajaya.

The Iskandar RegionalDevelopment Authority (IRDA) is aiming for the sustainable development of the region, therefore social and environmental issues feature heavily on its agenda.

There has been much focus on developing infrastructure such as public housing, construction of roads and interchanges, and an integration of the public transport system.

Investment opportunities are available in health services, information and communications technology, food and agro-processing and much more. The education and creative industries sector especially attracts much foreign investment.

The majority of Iskandar Malaysia's investors have been from South Korea, the Middle East, and Hong Kong, with Singapore being the biggest foreign investor in the region.


Part of the federal government's commitment to help the region maximise its economic potential, the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) encompasses the whole state of Sabah.

The SDC's growth will be implemented over a period of 18 years to be completed in 2025. Managed by SEDIA, the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority, the state's development will take place in three phases, each concentrating on the state's strategic location in the Asia Pacific region, its natural resources, rich cultural heritage and access to mega biodiverse resources.

The first focus, building the infrastructure that will serve as a foundation for the state's growth and the initiation of high-impact economic and poverty eradication projects is already well under way.

The second phase is an increase in high value-added economic activities that will boost the region's economy. The third focus is will be a period of expansion, the result of which will be that Sabah's supporting infrastructure, globalised economy and knowledge workforce will see the region emerge as an attractive destination for foreign investments.


Managed and promoted by the Regional Corridor DevelopmentAuthority (RECODA), the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) is the initiative to transform Sarawak into a fully developed state by the year 2020.

The state is leveraging on the region's great potential in the area of renewable energy, especially hydropower. The abundant natural resources in Sarawak means SCORE will be able to price its energy competitively and encourage investments in power generation and energy-intensive industries.

The development of the region will take a five-pronged approach. The first will be to direct investments to three growth nodes in the corridor. Next, the hinterland will be systematically opened up through a network of industrial class transport and communication infrastructure.

Third, the development of energy supply (hydropower) will be accelerated. Fourth, human capital development in the corridor will be accelerated, and lastly, RECODA will initiate the development of the tourism industry.

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