Malaysia launches mega development project

Tagged the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NorthernCorridor), the government initiative will involve RM177billion (US$51 billion) being pumped into the states of Perlis,Kedah, Penang and Perak over 18 years.

“The focus will be to turn the Northern Corridorinto a modern food zone of Malaysia, increase the value-add in themanufacturing sector and strengthen tourism,” a government statement said.

A third of the money will be spent by the government,with the balance undertaken by the private sector.

“It will be led and driven by the private sectorand market imperatives,” it said, adding that the masterplan aims tocreate half a million jobs by 2012 and one million by 2018.

As a tourism zone, the plan is to introduce theNorthern Corridor as a regional centre for medical tourism.

The Northern region, bordering southern Thailand,is home to a largely agrarian population.

The launch of the Northern Corridor comes monthsafter the Prime Minister launched the Iskandar Development Region insouthern Johor state.

The Iskandar project aims to attract RM50 billion in the next five yearsas part of an initiative to turn the area  into a new Asian metropolis.

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