Melaka targets RM100b investments in new corridor
09 Apr 2021
The Melaka state government launched the development of a new high-impact economic corridor, Melaka Waterfront Economic Zone (M-WEZ) yesterday, primed to be a main contributor to the state’s economy.
Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali said the M-WEZ would attract over RM100 billion in global investments over a 15-year period and create more than 20,000 jobs every year, prioritising the employment of local workers.
He said the economic zone will also contribute between RM3 billion and RM4 billion, or about 5%, to the state’s annual GDP by 2035.
Sulaiman added that the target would exclude contributions via direct income taxes to the federal government by companies operating in the zone.
“The economic growth would be supported by M-WEZ’s maritime-oriented zone, given Melaka’s long coastline and its position as a natural and deep-water harbour.
“Thus, our main focus is to boost the maritime sector as a major economic contributor.
“We 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 (STS) transfer facilities,” he said at a press conference after launching the M-WEZ in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
He added that the STS operations would enable ships to transfer their cargo to other vessels without having to dock at the piers, allowing higher shipping flexibility and reducing costs for shippers.
Commenting further, Sulaiman said the current facilities at Tanjung Bruas port in Melaka are not able to accommodate large vessels.
Thus, he said the development of M-WEZ gives an opportunity for Melaka to attract potential investors to invest in its port with various facilities and high technology for shippers.
“The Straits of Malacca is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes with about 100,000 vessels annually.
“If we can have a port with better facilities and high technology, we can attract more ships to Melaka port in the future,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the M-WEZ would comprise five distinct clusters, namely the Melaka Harbourfront, Smart Logistic Nucleus, Digital Satellite Township, Central Eco Business Park and Trade Nucleus New Township.
The zone would also have new areas dedicated to tourism products, duty-free zones, shopping malls, offices, hotels, residences and Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) industries.
Sulaiman said the state government will soon be signing agreements with several investors and partners to develop the corridor.
“We hope to table a bill on the setting up of Perbadanan M-WEZ, which will map out policies, direction and strategies in the development of the corridor.
“We are also finalising the blueprint to serve the master plan on the development of the zone, as well as its infrastructure planning,” he noted.
Speaking on the funding for the economic zone, Sulaiman said he would bring up the matter to the federal government at their next meeting in May.
He added that for this year, the state expects new investments to reach RM5 billion in 2021, including that of German semiconductor giant Infineon Technologies AG, which has pledged to invest RM3.25 billion in Malaysia, particularly in Melaka until 2029.
The M-WEZ will sit on a huge 25,000-acre (10117.14ha) of coastal and reclaimed land, and will have a total distance of 33km running from northern Melaka near Sungai Udang right to the south in Umbai.
It is expected to turn Melaka into a new growth centre, where people around the world come to live, work, visit and do business. The Malaysia Reserve