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Old April 4th, 2007, 08:43 PM   #1
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THE NORTHERN CORRIDOR ECONOMIC REGION - The powerhouse of Malaysia's North!

Rabobank sees potential in Northern Corridor
By Hamisah Hamid
hamisahhamid@nstp.com

April 2 2007

RABOBANK International, the world's leading financier in the food and agribusiness sector, wants to be actively involved in the development of Malaysia's Northern Corridor Economic Region.

Rabobank food and agribusiness head of strategic advisory and research for South-East Asia Thomas Lee Bauer said the bank is studying how it can participate in the project.

"There is a huge role that Rabobank can play. The bank fits perfectly into it," he told Business Times in an interview.

Proposed under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP: 2006-2010), the Northern Corridor covers the agricultural areas of Penang, Seberang Prai, North Perak, Kedah and Perlis.

Government-owned Synergy Drive Sdn Bhd has been tasked to accelerate development in the Northern Corridor, which is envisaged to be a hub for food and agricultural products.

He said the strength of the Netherlands-based Rabobank lies in its agribusiness experts worldwide.

The century-old Rabobank has "AAA" credit ratings from Standard & Poor's and "AAA" from Moody's, making it the only privately-owned bank in the world to achieve the status.

Rabobank launched Rabobank Nederland Labuan in Labuan in March 2005, while its marketing office in Kuala Lumpur was opened in December 2005.

In Malaysia, the Dutch farmers' cooperative bank offers basic interest swap, corporate lending, term loans, structured trade finance, foreign exchange, risk management, merger and acquisition, as well as food and agribusiness advisory services.

On whether Rabobank plans to establish a local retail banking , Bauer said: "Rabobank is currently not doing that, but we never know. Never say never."

He said Rabobank is bullish about Malaysia's economy and its agribusiness, which is supported by the right investment climate and the Government's emphasis on agribusiness.

For niche halal sector, for example, Bauer said Rabobank can help players to brand their products so that Malaysian halal products fetch premium prices.

"We can increase the profit margin for halal food producers. There is market for higher-end halal products. The key is to open up the right market," he said, adding that other potential areas include beef and dairy sector.

In the palm oil sector, Bauer said Rabobank would concentrate on value-added products.

"Biodiesel is a big growth area. There is a lot more to be done on external marketing in this area," he said, adding that companies from Europe are looking at feedstock from Malaysia for their biofuel projects.
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Old April 4th, 2007, 08:54 PM   #2
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The government, in its efforts to reduce the imbalance in the economic growth in the country, has identified three corridors for development.

The Northern Corridor, comprising the Kedah, Perlis, Seberang Perai and Northern Perak will be the focus for commercial agriculture and the development of the agro-based and high technology industries. The development in the Northern Corridor will be led by Sime Darby Bhd, a government-linked company, which is expected to invest in several new projects, including developing a growth cluster in commercial agriculture, high technology industry and tourism.

In addition, to enhance the State of Perlis as a viable investment location, the Government has designated that investments in Perlis be eligible for the higher incentives as provided for projects located in the Eastern Corridor of Penisular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

For the Eastern Corridor, which covers Kelantan, Trengganu, Pahang and Mersing in Johor, priority will be given to implement more projects that will generate greater economic activities. Petronas is expected to lead the development of downstream activities in the petrochemicals, handicrafts and tourism industries.

For Sabah and Sarawak, infrastructure for the states will be upgraded and palm oil-based clusters will be developed among others.

The Southern Johor Economic Region (SJER) earmarked to be developed into a world-class metropolis, will be spearheaded by Khazanah Nasional. A sum of RM2.3 billion has been allocated, mainly for infrastructure development. An RM200 million Strategic Investment Fund will be set up to invest jointly with the private sector, in new industry clusters including education and healthcare.

~ Adapted from the PM's Budget speech
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Old July 7th, 2007, 09:38 AM   #3
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NCER - Northern Corridor Economic Region | Penang-Kedah-Perlis | Sime Darby

Private sector in the driver’s seat
By WONG CHUN WAI
TheStar BizWeek 7 July 2007

In an exclusive interview with BizWeek, Datuk Seri Effendi Norwawi provides a glimpse of what to expect from the Northern Corridor Economic Region project and the role of the private sector.




THE past few months have been hectic for Datuk Seri Effendi Norwawi as the Government pushes the rollout of major Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) programmes and high-impact projects, including the Iskandar Development Region and the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), which will be launched at the end of the month.

The expectations are high and as the clock ticks away, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department has found himself and his staff racing to meet the deadline.

It was already 6pm when he walked into his apartment in Kuala Lumpur – two hours late for this interview. “I am sorry as I had to attend a last-minute meeting in Putrajaya on the Northern Corridor,’’ he apologises profusely.

“We are in the exciting phase of the implementation process. The masterplan for the Northern Corridor will be unveiled soon, followed by that for the Eastern Corridor,” he adds. Sime Darby Bhd, one of Asia’s largest conglomerates, with substantial plantation and property holdings, has been given the job of drawing up the masterplan.

“In the coming weeks and months, more initiatives will be unveiled, especially in areas that require fresh changes and where there have been dialogues and discussions between the public and private sectors,’’ says the minister.

However, he is not prepared to disclose more about the NCER, well aware that it should be left to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to spell out the details. As part of the launch of the NCER, the Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Kedah and Perlis on July 30, and Penang and northern Perak the following day.

To be accompanied by other Cabinet members, he is expected to announce a slew of initiatives that are set to transform the four states. The development focus for each state will leverage on the existing economic strengths of the area, such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and human capital.



Big plans up north

Bits of information on the NCER have already been floating around for some time. For example, one component will be the RM1.1bil Penang Monorail, with two lines of 37km to be built on the island and future extension to the mainland.

A bus network, along the lines of Rapid KL, with 150 buses will begin operations soon in the state.

Penang’s much-awaited RM2.7bil second bridge, which will link Batu Maung on the island and Batu Kawan on the mainland, is also set to bring spin-offs for the state, especially in the property sector. The 24km bridge is likely to ease the congestion at the present 13.5km bridge, which is already 21 years old.

The network of roads through the Penang Outer Ring Road, the second bridge and the public transport upgrade are essential elements that must precede the rollout of other projects in the state.

Penang will also be made a regional transportation hub. There is talk that Air Asia would fly to major destinations from Penang. One project, also expected to be announced soon, is the setting up of a low-cost carrier centre at the Penang International Airport.

The container wharves at the Penang Port will be deepened, while on the mainland, food processing centres (including a halal hub) will be set up to handle agricultural products from Kedah, Perlis and northern Perak.

Kedah and Perlis have been earmarked for an agricultural push, with modern padi farming techniques to be introduced to boost the earnings of the farmers in the country’s Malay heartland. One plan is to increase harvesting to three times a year from the present two.

The Prime Minister is expected to unveil a special padi grain on July 30. This is meant to improve the padi yield in Kedah and Perlis. Also, Sime Darby is likely to provide details of its seeds research centre, whose key aim is to develop quality rice.

Potatoes will be cultivated for non-food use, particularly as bio-plastics and composites, as part of the downstream activities to improve the livelihood of farmers.

Irrigation and flood mitigation projects have been conceived for padi farming areas in Kedah, while an inland container depot will be built. In Langkawi, tourism facilities will come up on the outer islands.



Corridors of dream

In northern Perak and Perlis, the thrust will be on human capital development, such as the building of vocational and skills training centres. In Selama, for example, animal husbandry will be the focus.

Vocational training and an agriculture faculty in a northern state university are being planned to help school-leavers and agriculture graduates to become modern farmers.

Says Effendi: “There is also the Penang City Park, a mixed development which we are facilitating and assisting. It will be iconic and exciting.”

The proposed project is a 15-year project covering serviced apartments with healthcare facilities, houses, retail outlets, a hotel, convention centres and office space. The development will boost the state’s economy and create thousands of jobs.

A metropolitan park that will link the City Park, Youth Park and Botanical Garden is on the cards. This will preserve the state’s 860 acres of green lung, reflecting the authorities' commitment to protect the environment.

There are other environment-related aspects of the NCER project. In Perak, the Belum Forest has been earmarked for herbal plants research. The northern region has 51.9% of forestland, which the Government is determined to preserve.

While the finishing touches are being applied to the NCER plan, follow-up actions have been taken on the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in south Johor, for which over RM4bil has been allocated for infrastructure development.

“These projects embody the Government’s ambitious goal of making the whole country a hassle-free place for the private sector to flourish,” says Effendi.

“However, it will take time to cover the entire nation. This corridor development approach, covering the major regions of the country, offers the advantage of speedy implementation, excellent infrastructure and a one-stop agency to deal with.”


The Second Penand Bridge is an essential part of the state’s development plans



Private sector to the fore

There is an element that makes the 9MP different from the previous five-year plans. Effendi points out: “In the past, the economy has been predominantly driven by the public sector. But now, since we have a more developed and mature private sector, it’s time to change that.

“We would like the private sector to be the prime mover of economic growth as is the case with the developed economies.

He adds, “The 8MP saw the ratio of contribution to the economy as 60:40, the public sector accounting for 60%. The 9MP aims to reverse this so that the public sector’s contribution is reduced to 40% and the private sector goes up to 60%.

“To sustain the country’s GDP growth at 6% to 7% or higher, the private sector must continue to invest, add production capacity and become the main engine of growth.

“During the 8MP, the private sector investment growth was – 1%, compared to the 7MP period. Our challenge in 9MP is to achieve 11% growth. In order to accomplish this, the private sector has to invest RM378bil from 2006 to 2010.”

The IDR, for example, will need plenty of private investors, particularly those from Singapore, to make it a reality.

The Penang City Park, a unique housing development scheme that cleverly blends in with the environment, including the setting up green lungs, is a private initiative.

Equine Capital Bhd subsidiary, Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd, which is already developing a township in Batu Kawan, is handling the Penang City Park, which hopes to draw top-notch buyers. Foreign fund managers and investors in Europe have already expressed their interest in the project as Penang is a brand name.

Describing himself as a “facilitator” for the government and the private sector, Effendi was a banker, civil servant, businessman, Sarawak state assemblyman and Member of Parliament.

“I have been on both sides. There has to be a mutual trust on both sides. The private sector needs efficiency and prompt decisions, while the public sector has its procedures, rules and circulars to follow,” he says.

“What we need is a mechanism through which both sides can understand each other, merge and make Malaysia more vibrant.”

Effendi regards himself as lucky. As an appointed senator, he is free from the punishing constituency work, and is able to devote his time totally to national development. “You can say I am now in the middle ground, and my role is to bring the two sides together.”



Building trust

Throughout the interview, Effendi focused his attention on the importance of the private sector, saying “We can only develop a real mature economy if there is a strong and healthy collaboration between the Government and the private sector.”

How can we build this trust? His reply: “I believe that action speaks louder than words. The Prime Minister himself “walks the talk” in many instances.

“The National Implementation Task Force (NITF) has set up a Private Sector Investment Advisory Panel to examine various issues affecting the private sector. This panel holds regular dialogue sessions and meetings with the private sector to seek input on how to improve Malaysia’s investment climate. The Government also pro-actively looks into ways to reduce bureaucracy and red tape.”

Chaired by Abdullah, NITF has established standing and working committees on the education, health, tourism and services sectors, among others.

Effendi points out that the decision to waive the real property gains tax was made within a month after the Government had engaged the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association in a discussion.

“We worked with Iskandar Regional Development Authority to come up with incentive package for IDR which was finalised and approved within a month,” he says. Another example, he adds, was the setting up of Pemudah, a high-powered task force that looks into cutting red tape in the public service delivery system.

“The task force has been given six months to come out with actions. Since it had been set up in February, Pemudah has implemented a series of initiatives to make government processes and procedures more efficient,” he says.

One of these is the shortening of the time to register new companies from more than a month to only 24 hours.

“Another example in the property and construction sector, is the setting up of a One-Stop-Centre (OSC) to shorten processing time of development project approvals at the local government level. With this OSC, process time was cut from 3-5 years to a mere 4-6 months,” says Effendi.

When the interview came to an end, it was nearly 7.30pm. Effendi walked to this writer to the entrance of his condominium. “This is not the end of the day for me. Yes, all of us in Pak Lah’s team have been very busy, but there is more to come. Things are being set in motion for this national mission,” he assures.
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Last edited by patchay; July 7th, 2007 at 09:45 AM.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 09:41 AM   #4
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looks like the supporting beams will be construct out of steel. In shorter words, steel girder bridge.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #5
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I bet Perlis would least to benefit from NCER. Much developments are geared towards Penand and Kedah....again, Perlis is on the backburner.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 10:32 AM   #6
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Bridge project faces piling woes
Sunday July 8, 2007
TheStar


BUTTERWORTH: UEM Builders, the company undertaking the RM200mil expansion of the Penang Bridge project, has encountered some technical problems due to intensified piling works for the project.

The company’s managing-director Ridza Abdoh Salleh admitted yesterday that the piling works had caused certain areas “to experience land-induced settlement problems,” causing existing structures to sink in further.

He said this was because in certain areas along the bridge piling works were done too near to the bridge, with the nearest about 5m away.

“We have to be extra cautious about the problem as we want to minimise land-induced settlement that will not affect the bridge’s structural design.

“Our engineers are working round-the-clock to monitor the problems, which may cause delay in piling works,” he said yesterday.

Ridza said the situation was under control and that motorists need not worry about the bridge structures as such problems were bound to happen when piling works were carried out too close to a building or structure.

He said the piling works also encountered soil problems as some layers of the soil were quite weak, adding that piles had to be driven deep down the seabed to ensure stability and strength of pillars for the third-lane expansion project.

Ridza said the two lanes on the bridge, except the third outer lane on the bridge’s middle-span, would remain open until the project was completed by the end of next year.

He said one of the two lanes would be closed when the beams are launched, adding that the company would schedule work for the launching of the beams.

“We will inform motorists of our work schedule. We will only close one of the lanes after midnight to facilitate work,” he added.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 06:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nazrey View Post
Bridge project faces piling woes
Sunday July 8, 2007
TheStar


BUTTERWORTH: UEM Builders, the company undertaking the RM200mil expansion of the Penang Bridge project, has encountered some technical problems due to intensified piling works for the project.

The company’s managing-director Ridza Abdoh Salleh admitted yesterday that the piling works had caused certain areas “to experience land-induced settlement problems,” causing existing structures to sink in further.

He said this was because in certain areas along the bridge piling works were done too near to the bridge, with the nearest about 5m away.

“We have to be extra cautious about the problem as we want to minimise land-induced settlement that will not affect the bridge’s structural design.

“Our engineers are working round-the-clock to monitor the problems, which may cause delay in piling works,” he said yesterday.

Ridza said the situation was under control and that motorists need not worry about the bridge structures as such problems were bound to happen when piling works were carried out too close to a building or structure.

He said the piling works also encountered soil problems as some layers of the soil were quite weak, adding that piles had to be driven deep down the seabed to ensure stability and strength of pillars for the third-lane expansion project.

Ridza said the two lanes on the bridge, except the third outer lane on the bridge’s middle-span, would remain open until the project was completed by the end of next year.

He said one of the two lanes would be closed when the beams are launched, adding that the company would schedule work for the launching of the beams.

“We will inform motorists of our work schedule. We will only close one of the lanes after midnight to facilitate work,” he added.
This is really a bad news.
Hope that if UEM don't have the expertise, pls ask other people for advise.
I am not look down at UEM, but just that the confident level was not high.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 08:56 AM   #8
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are they sure the current structure can accommodate additional lanes?
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 06:16 AM   #9
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Sime Darby Sees NCER From Foreign Investor Perspective
Updated : 21-07-2007


KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 (Bernama) -- Sime Darby Bhd, the masterplanner for the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), sees development in the region from the foreign investor perspective.

"We are a regional player that have successfully invested overseas. You are looking at a local `foreigner' coming back to invest in Malaysia," its group chief executive Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid told Bernama in an interview recently.

"We believe that the government has given us the confidence. It is also in the sense that Sime Darby is a conglomerate and we have vast experience in agriculture," he said.

The NCER, which Sime Darby is tasked with drawing up the blueprint, will be covering four states to be combined as one region in the north, namely Perlis, Kedah, Penang and the northern part of Perak.

Sime Darby, with plantation, automotive and property as its core businesses, has a good track record around the world, including in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Australia.

Asked how confident Sime Darby was with the NCER, Ahmad Zubir said that both the blueprint and implementation "are doable".

"It is a viable project. We have gone through every potential areas thoroughly. The key success factors would be the implementation, support and buy-in of the public, private sector as well as government agencies," he said.

"Unlike Petronas and Khazanah which are not public-listed companies, we at Sime Darby have minority shareholders whom we must be responsible for. We have to be totally different," he added.

Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), the national oil corporation, has been tasked with developing the Eastern Corridor while Khazanah Nasional Bhd looks after the Southern Johor Economic Region, better known as the Iskandar Development Region (IDR).

Ahmad Zubir said the NCER was expected to create half a million employment opportunities by 2012 and a million job opportunities by 2020.

The economic region, with the four main economic thrusts of agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and human capital, is going to be developed over a period of more than 20 years.

Besides being the masterplanner, Sime Darby will also participate in the NCER as an investor after handing over the blueprint to the implementation body, Northern Corridor Implementation Agency (NCIA).

As part of the NCER development, the group planned an initial investment of about RM25 million to set up a research centre to develop seed cultivation and production in Perlis, Ahmad Zubir said.

"We are also looking at setting up cattle rearing (feedlots and cattle integration) in Selama in a joint venture with Permodalan Nasional Bhd with an investment of RM20 over million," he said.

Sime Darby is also looking at oil and gas business, which is believed to be related to the US$7 billion Trans-Peninsular Pipeline Project that will link Kedah to Kelantan.

"We are looking to have a yard in the north. That has not been finalised yet. We are looking at the Yan area (in Kedah)," Ahmad Zubir said but declined to provide further details.

He also said that Sime Darby took 12 months to complete the blueprint by hiring consultants for each of the potential sectors covering agriculture, manufacturing and services to be developed in the region.

Sime Darby is on track to be merged as one entity under Synergy Drive Sdn Bhd, together with Golden Hope Plantations Bhd and Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd.

Synergy Drive, which will be one of the world's largest plantation groups, is set to be listed on Bursa Malaysia in November this year.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 02:43 AM   #10
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Live telecast for NCER launch
Tuesday July 24, 2007
By WONG CHUN WAI
TheStar

ALOR STAR: The launch of the multi-billion-ringgit Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) on Monday, where the Prime Minister will unveil a slew of projects, will be telecast live.

At least 10,000 people, including Cabinet members and state executive councillors, will be attending the event at the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (Mada) headquarters here.

Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin said Kedah will be the first stop in Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s visit to the four states on July 30 and July 31.

“The NCER is a crucial element of the Ninth Malaysia Plan which will bring tremendous benefit to the people. We want the people to hear directly what the PM has to say,” Zainuddin said in an interview.

Abdullah is expected to reveal plans for high-end tourism in Langkawi, where two outer islands have been earmarked for the construction of world-class resorts.

Nursing colleges will also be set up while hospitals will be built along Pantai Kok for the island’s medical tourism plan.

On the mainland, there will be a premier industrial park in Kulim and high-yield padi farming and irrigation programmes for the state’s padi farmers.

Zainuddin said RTM will also telecast live the opening of the Seed Research and Development Centre in Perlis on the same day.

The centre is being initiated by Sime Darby, which has been entrusted with drawing up the NCER masterplan.

An inland container depot, border town development, seed production centre and climatic fruit cluster programmes are in the pipeline for Perlis.

The plans for Kedah and Perlis will make the two states the country's premier food production centre, using modern agricultural management practices and distribution.

Zainuddin, who is Merbok MP, said padi farmers in Kedah and Perlis will benefit from the NCER, adding that they formed the Malay rural heartland of Malaysia.

“RTM will also telecast live the unveiling of plans to turn Penang into a regional logistics hub by the Prime Minister on July 31 in Butterworth,” he said, adding that more than 5,000 people are expected to attend the event.

Abdullah is expected to launch the new RapidPenang bus service.

Under the NCER, Penang Port's wharf depth will be deepened while its container terminal will be expanded.

The Penang International Airport will be expanded to include a low-cost carrier terminal and its cargo terminal will be upgraded.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 11:11 AM   #11
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I don't know why they need to live telecast for this launching.
Most of the projects, we already know.

Is it because they want to have huge publicity so to get more polls from the rural area?
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Old July 25th, 2007, 03:18 AM   #12
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Frankly... if they are really keen and put afford in making this project successful and beneficial to the citizens of Penang, Kedah, Perlis and Perak...

I wouldn't mind whatever publicity they make in order to get more votes or whatsoever they have in mind...
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Old July 25th, 2007, 06:31 AM   #13
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Halal hub plan in Sg Petani
Wednesday July 25, 2007
By DAVID TAN
TheStar


HADHARI Cattle Industry Sdn Bhd is proposing to establish a 323.7ha halal city hub in Sungai Petani, along the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER).

Its director Mahathir Mahmad Akhir said in a telephone interview that the plans had been submitted to the relevant authorities in Kedah for study.

“We are now identifying a suitable site for the project.

“Our intention is to create the largest halal food hub in the country, which is line with the objectives of the Ninth Malaysia Plan to develop the Northern Corridor Economic Region,'' he said.

He was commenting on the NCER initiative to create a halal food hub in the northern region and to generate downstream businesses for local agricultural players.

According to the proposal, the halal city hub will feature a university specialising in agriculture technology on an 80.9ha site, a 20.2ha commercial zone for halal food business, residential homes and a 32.3ha recreational park.

“Our plan is to invite local and overseas investors, from the Middle-East for example, to jointly develop some of the schemes with us.

“We have already found two investors, one from China and the other from Indonesia, who are keen to invest in the project to set up a halal food production business,” he said.

Mahathir said that such a city would create a lot of halal downstream activities for the farmers.

“There will be a need for more cattle raising activities, to supply fresh beef, frozen beef products and beef fat,” he added.

Hadhari Cattle Industry, which presently runs an abattoir in Jitra, Kedah, slaughters some 150 heads of cattle per day.

“We are gradually increasing our slaughter to 400 heads of cattle per day or 10,000 per month,” he said.

In Inner Mongolia, Hadhari Cattle Industry operates a RM100mil integrated meat processing facility, which supplies halal meat to major cities in China and the Middle East.

“We have recently invested RM130mil to set up a second integrated halal meat processing facility in Chiefeng, Inner Mongolia,'' he added.

Meanwhile, DXN Holdings Bhd managing director Lim Boon Yee said a centralised halal city would create enormous demand for the group’s halal food supplements.

Listed on the main board of Bursa Malaysia, DXN is a specialist in farming ganoderma, a type of fungus used in making food supplements and skin care products.

It operates a 34.3ha ganoderma farm in Bukit Wang, Kedah.

“We look forward to such a halal city being set up as it will create fresh demands for our halal food supplements,” he said.

Lim said DXN was also exploring to produce halal capsules.

“Halal capsules require halal gelatine as raw material, which can only be obtained from cattle bone.

“Such a halal capsule business will in turn create demand for the downstream halal gelatine manufacturing business, which will in turn stimulate the cattle business in the NCER,” he added.

Lim said DXN, which exports some 80% of its food supplements to the Middle East, had extensive marketing networks in the region.

“DXN can, using its marketing and distribution channels in the Middle East, help the businesses in the halal city market their products in the Middle East,” he said.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 05:00 AM   #14
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Penang poised to be northern ‘gateway’
Wednesday July 25, 2007
TheStar


PENANG: Under the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), Penang will serve as a springboard by becoming the import and export ‘gateway’ for the northern states.

As a logistics hub for the NCER, agricultural produce and proces-sed food from North Seberang Prai, Perlis and Kedah would be exported through the state, Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon told a press conference yester- day.

“Under the NCER, which is part of the Ninth Malaysia Plan, we will see the widening of the Penang Bridge, construction of the second bridge and Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR), expansion of the Penang International Airport and North Butterworth Container Terminal, the implementation of the mono-rail and integrated bus service.

“These projects will enable the state to become a more efficient, dynamic and effective hub for trade and commerce in the region,” he said.

Dr Koh said the state govern-ment would work closely with the governments of Perlis, Kedah and Perak to boost economic growth in the region.

He said it was time to think “out-of-the-state”and look at the neigh-bouring northern states as busi-ness partners to help develop a land mass that was 32 times larger than Penang.

Dr Koh, who returned from the Malaysian Industrial Develop-ment Authority’s (MIDA) trade and investment mission in Japan on Monday night, said several investors had expressed interest in growing their investment in the state.

“I met with top leaders of the Toray Group, Tanaka and Renasas (formerly Hitachi) to brief them about the state’s upcoming projects and the future prospects.

“The feedback has been very positive,” he said, adding that the hi-tech electronics hub, which includes Parit Buntar, Seberang Prai, Kulim and Sungai Petani, would mark another chapter of growth for the state.

Dr Koh noted that the NCER would include promoting Penang and Langkawi as a world-class resort, spa and medical tourism destination, as well as a modern agriculture and food processing zone in North Seberang Prai, Kedah and Perlis.

“With the Federal Government overseeing the NCER, we can be more focused and concentrated in our efforts. The NCER projects will also spur the growth of other economic activities for the state which would lead to higher income for the rakyat.”
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Old July 26th, 2007, 05:23 AM   #15
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Property firms to get NCER benefits
25 Jul 2007 10:36 AM
THEEDGEDAILY


KUALA LUMPUR: Property and construction companies are said to be the prime beneficiaries of the estimated RM50 billion () that is expected to be invested in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER).

Property companies including Hunza Properties Bhd, SP Setia Bhd and Mah Sing Group Bhd are expected to benefit from the appreciation in asset prices while the construction boys such as Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd and UEM Builders are front runners for the infrastructure jobs.

UEM Builders has already secured the RM3.3 billion Second Penang bridge project which it is undertaking together with a Chinese company. IJM Corporation Bhd is also said to be a beneficiary from the bridge project.

As for MRCB, it is slated for the Butterworth Terminal project that is to be styled after KL Sentral. A consortium led by MRCB, that also includes the Penang Port Commission and Scomi Engineering Bhd are bidding for the RM1.3 billion Penang Monorail project.

On property companies, analysts said the NCER would be a catalyst for these companies as improved infrastructure and higher income levels would result in greater demand for properties in th eregion.

CIMB Research said the estimated RM50 billion NCER was realistic and positive for the development of the region but any significant impact was likely to be felt only in the longer term.

“Nonetheless, it is positive news for property companies with exposure to projects up north,” it said.

Companies with significant exposure to northern states and specifically Penang include Hunza Properties, SP Setia and Mah Sing, with all three stocks being rated to outperform by CIMB Research. The target prices of the stocks are RM3.82, RM8.75 and RM2.30 respectively.

Other potential beneficiaries are E&O Property Development Bhd, Equine Capital Bhd, Asas Dunia Bhd, Farlim Group (Malaysia) Bhd, Eupe Corporation Bhd and Plenitude Bhd.

“Hunza Properties arguably provides the best exposure as it has land bank on Penang Island, Penang mainland and Sungai Petani in Kedah,” said CIMB Research.

On the plantation sector, it said the higher demand for property in the northern region could benefit some of the oil palm players with estates located at strategic areas as it could be converted for property development over the medium- to long-term. It said the NCER could also open up opportunities for plantation players to invest in other agriculture products to diversify their crop mix.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 11:06 AM   #16
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Project in NCER is not new

There is no exciting development in NCER compared to IDR in Johor. Some of the projects in NCER has already known for quite sometime. But transforming Johor Bahru to become a metropolis is surely great. NCER people will forever be farmers and fishermen.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 04:52 PM   #17
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Thursday July 26, 2007

Second Penang Bridge construction to start in November

By DAVID TAN

XIAMEN: China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) is expected to start construction work on the second Penang bridge in November and will use a special technology for the project to ensure its completion in 2011.

CHEC information manager Ma Jie said the company would use the technology of pre-fabricated box beam, called the 'short-line matching' technology, to produce short sections of beams, each measuring 3 to 4 metres for the bridge.

"The small size of the beams will make it easy for them to be transported to the site of the bridge with smaller vessels.

"It is not practical to produce long beams, which require large vessels to carry them.

"Large vessels will have a tough time transporting the beams to the site because the sea surrounding the project is shallow.

Ann artist's impression of the Second Penang Bridge
"Finally, we can also manufacture small beams with greater measurement precision and accuracy," he said.

Ma added that construction work for the second bridge is expected to begin in November 2007.

Ma spoke at a briefing to some 20 journalists from Malaysia held in Xiamen, where CHEC is constructing the 3.8km Jimei Bridge, using the same technology.

The Penang second bridge is the sixth bridge undertaken by CHEC using the technology.

CHEC is using the same technology to build the Jimei and Sutong bridges in Xiamen and Shanghai.

"We expect to manufacture the beams in one year. It will take another 22 to 23 months to join the beams together," he said.

Ma said some six production lines to produce the beams would be set up in Penang.

"Construction work should begin before the year ends.

"Some 1,000 engineers and technicians from China are estimated to be involved in the project.

"They will be sent to Penang in gradual phases to work on the second bridge," he added.

Ma said pre-stress technology would also be used to manufacture the beams.

"The pre-stress technology enables the bridge to withstand the impact from an earthquake of 7 on the richter scale," he said.

Ma said the cost of the raw materials and the design of the bridge had yet to be finalised.

China is providing Malaysia US$800mil in loans, with a 3% interest rate and a repayment period of 20 years.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 02:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megamal View Post
There is no exciting development in NCER compared to IDR in Johor. Some of the projects in NCER has already known for quite sometime. But transforming Johor Bahru to become a metropolis is surely great. NCER people will forever be farmers and fishermen.
haha, you are damn right. We only can become fisherman, farmers. Catch the fish and plant the paddy for the IDR people.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 09:36 AM   #19
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I dun see what's wrong having strong agriculture sector in the North.

If some economic disaster like 1997 comes again, agriculture sector could actually absorb unemployment.People have to eat,so there's always $$$ to be made from agriculture.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 01:01 PM   #20
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To me, jgn la fikir tangkap ikan ja atau tnm padi ja. Kita boleh bt ikn dlm tin atau proses padi jdi benda baru ke. Mcm2 boleh bt dgn agriculture. Utara jadi pusat agriculture, IDR jdi pusat commercial. Bru la Malaysia seimbang.
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