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BUSINESS

NCER strategic initiatives boost Penang's resilience, socioeconomic recovery

11/01/2022 09:00 PM

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 11 -- The socioeconomic recovery for Penang was further accelerated in 2021 in line with the national recovery plan and various initiatives were implemented by the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) in collaboration with the state government.

In a statement today, NCIA said this is evident from the total approved investment of RM11.06 billion and the creation of 7,744 new job opportunities for the island state last year, signalling Penang’s upward economic recovery trajectory.

“Investments secured from local and international investors in the electronics and electrical (E&E) and machinery and equipment (M&E) sectors drove the state’s manufacturing sector recovery.

“Penang’s international trade has also increased significantly by 12 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM316 billion,” NCIA said.

Tourism also saw a revival in the second half of 2021 when interstate and international travel resumed, resulting in the growth of air travel through Penang International Airport by 86 per cent y-o-y, while the logistics sector recorded a double-digit growth during the same period, due to increasing e-commerce and online business activities.

Meanwhile, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said NCIA’s efforts in encouraging innovation and strengthening the industry ecosystem in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) such as the NCER Technology Innovation Centre (NTIC) would solidify Penang’s position as a technology and innovation hub in the region.

“We welcome efforts by NCIA to further enhance Penang’s attractiveness to investors beyond the E&E and M&E sectors, particularly in the development of industry-relevant, and high-skilled local talent,” Chow was quoted as saying in the statement.

NTIC is a newly developed programme under the NCER "Single Campus" initiative that focuses on activities related to research, design, technology, innovation, and commercialisation.

Aligned with the NCER Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2021-2025 goal to address imbalanced urban-rural development, NCIA will develop the Guar Kepah Archeological Heritage Gallery (GKAHG), an archeological and agrotourism hub located in Seberang Perai Utara in Penang to benefit the local community.

Expected to be completed in 2023, GKAHG is a digital interactive gallery with a green concept to showcase the archaeological evidence and heritage of the area.

The development of the GKAHG will be integrated with NCIA’s people-centric human capital programmes, which are implemented in a holistic and integrated approach based on the profile of the district.

Since 2019, these programmes have benefitted more than 10,000 people in Penang and the programmes have been expanded to help the vulnerable groups since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 40 per cent of participants from the empowerNCER-Skills & Entrepreneurship have moved above the poverty line, with eight per cent transcending into the middle 40 per cent (M40) and top 20 per cent (T20) income groups. This has resulted in sustainability and growth of more than 1,300 micro enterprises and small and medium enterprises which complement the National Recovery Plan.

NCIA chief executive Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John said realising the need to feel the pulse on the effects of the pandemic, NCIA has commenced a six-month field study to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on households and business communities in the NCER.

“Started in November last year, the field study which is aligned with the NCER SDP 2021-2025 aims to review the impact of COVID-19 on NCER’s socioeconomy and to develop a detailed implementation plan to accelerate the region’s socioeconomic recovery and resilience,” he added.

-- BERNAMA


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