The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority’s (NCIA) efforts in accelerating post-pandemic economic growth and recovery in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) continues with the promotion of Kedah Rubber City (KRC) as a strategic investment destination for the rubber related industry.
“KRC is now ready for investors, and we welcome investment from all around the world to the leading rubber-related industry hub in the region and global hub for high-value rubber industry,” said NCIA Director of Investment Division, Fajaffri Mohd Fadzil during his investment opportunity presentation at the MIDA INVEST SERIES entitled “Unfolding States’ Business Potential – Kedah”.
Kedah Rubber City to Catalyse Kedah’s Future Growth in Years to Come
Officially launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Bin Yaakob, KRC is Malaysia’s first ever dedicated rubber eco-industrial park that is expected to lead in the development of Malaysia’s rubber industry as well as sustain the current growth trajectory of Kedah and NCER.
To be developed in two phases in an area spanning 1,244 acres, KRC is a game changer project implemented by NCIA in collaboration with the State Government to transform Kedah into a developed state, thus narrowing the regional development gap. The project reflects the Government’s commitment to bring large-scale development to less developed areas in the country.
Phase 1 of KRC development is nearing completion and the industrial park is now ready to welcome the arrival of investors. Following the remarkable progress of KRC Phase 1, Phase 2 of the project is scheduled to commence in 2023.
Response by investors towards KRC has been encouraging to date. Cumulative investments will create about 15,000 job opportunities in total for the locals, not only in Padang Terap but also Kedah in general.
Pioneering the investments in KRC are Hong Seng Industries Sdn Bhd, which plans to build one of the world’s largest nitrile butadiene latex (NBL) plant by investing RM3 billion while creating additional 830 jobs and a potential of another RM5 billion in the supply chain ecosystem development to support the NBL plant, and LTS Logistics Sdn Bhd, which will establish an integrated logistics ecosystem in KRC comprising a logistics hub, container depot, and warehouse in support of the entire value chain.
In fact, KRC is already on track to meet its RM10 billion private investment target by 2030. This development will boost the income of rubber smallholders in Kedah by ensuring continuous and sustainable demand for their natural rubber, as well as stabilising rubber prices by optimising rubber usage through the production of value-added downstream products.
NCIA has embarked on several strategic collaborations with key institutions and organisations to develop a sustainable ecosystem for KRC in ensuring its success as Malaysia’s pioneer rubber eco-industrial park. Key enabler programmes such as efficient land development approval process, skilled workforce and talents programme, rubber products certification programme, raw material sourcing and local vendor development are given special emphasis in KRC development.
NCIA will collaborate with the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA) to nurture and develop local rubber smallholders under the KRC project, which will potentially benefit 73,642 rubber smallholders in Kedah, including 11,190 smallholders from Padang Terap.
KRC will also leverage on its strategic location along the “Rubber Belt” area of the Malaysia-Thailand border and within the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) and serve as a rubber product innovation centre to support downstream and upstream activities for the sector.
NCIA is focusing on facilitating investments in export-driven manufacturing sector, particularly in the production of rubber gloves, electrical and electronic products, as well as renewable energy. He added that investment growth for Kedah will be further developed with the implementation of high-impact strategic projects such as KRC.
Touching on the socioeconomic impact of KRC to the state of Kedah, Mr Fajaffri said that he is confident that KRC is also able to follow in the footsteps of other industrial parks in the State in attracting quality investments that can generate spill-over effects to the people of Kedah, especially in terms of new employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
“KRC project is part of NCIA’s efforts in supporting the Government’s goal to accelerate the country’s economic recovery and growth in the post-pandemic era of COVID-19,” said Encik Mohamad Haris Kader Sultan, Chief Executive of NCIA.
“NCIA is very focused and committed in implementing strategic development programmes that are in line with the National Recovery Plan and the 12th Malaysia Plan to empower the rakyat and business community in NCER towards economic recovery and growth,” added Mohamad Haris.
More than 300 participants attended the MIDA Invest Series: “Unfolding States’ Business Potential – Kedah”. It was also attended by YBhg Datuk Wira Arham Abdul Rahman, CEO of MIDA, YB Dato’ Wira Dr Ku Abd Rahman Ku Ismail, Senior EXCO for Kedah Industry and Investment, Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Encik Muhamad Mahazi Hj Ibrahim, CEO of Invest Kedah Berhad and Encik Che Abdul Khalid Md Din, COO of Kulim Technology Park Corporation (KTPC).