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theSun | TUESDAY APRIL 28 2009 15


ECER courts German

FRANKFURT: Representatives of Pahang Technology Park, Kemaman
Malaysia’s East Coast Economic Re- Heavy Industrial Park, Halal Park,
gion Development Council, who were Kuantan Palm Oil Industrial Park,
recently part of a 70-member strong Kertih Plastics Park were highlighted
Malaysian business delegation on a before the investor audience.
visit to Germany, made a strong pitch Because of the imbalance in the
before a large audience of potential development between the east and
German investors and invited them west coasts of the peninsula, the
to avail of the “incredible business government’s strategy is to develop lo-
opportunities” available to them in gistics infrastructure, including ports,
Malaysia’s east coast. airports, roads and highways which
“We have earmarked a huge outlay will make shipments and distribution
of some RM15 billion (about US$4.1 easier.
billion) over the next 15 years. The private sector would concen-
Half of the allocations will be spent trate on developing oil, gas and petro-
for infrastructure development while chemicals, resource-based manufac-

the other half from the private sectoris turing industries, tourism, agriculture
to develop a number of industries,” and education, he said.
Najib speaks said Datuk Jebasingam Issace John, One of the “most important
to the chief executive officer of the East projects,” according to Jebasingam,

BNM: Liberalisation in sync press after Coast Economic Region Development is development of the Kuantan Port
chairing the Council, in an interview with Bernama which will offer connectivity to two
Liberalisation in Frankfurt. billion people in the Asia-Pacific re-
of Financial “We are looking at all approaches gion.
Sector and programmes to accelerate the The port recorded a throughput of
Special region’s development from 5% to 7% 10 million tonnes in 2008 and has pro-

with financial master plan Meeting at of the national gross domestic product jected it to grow to 30 million tonnes
his office and in the process expect to create in 2020.
yesterday. half-a-million new jobs by 2020,” he “Kuantan Port is also being devel-
With him is said. oped to accommodate larger vessels of
Zeti. He listed a number of areas where the current generation.
the ECER was inherent with good busi- The expansion is being done to
by Tim Leonard readiness to compete in a given flexibility to enter into ness potential. The attractive features facilitate oil and gas shipments and
newsdesk@thesundaily.com more liberalised and chal- foreign strategic partnerships of Kuantan Palm Oil Industrial Park, other commodities, mainly, to Asean
lenging environment. The to enhance international Pekan Automotive Industrial Park, markets.
PUTRAJAYA: Bank Negara financial services sector has linkages and business op-
Malaysia (BNM) believes the progressed beyond its role portunities.
liberalisation measures an- as a facilitator of growth to In this regard, the foreign
nounced by Prime Minister become a growth sector in its equity participation in invest-
Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak own right, generating value- ment banks will be increased
yesterday are consistent with added businesses, attracting to a limit of up to 70%.
the objectives of the 2001 investments and creating Meanwhile, BNM Gover-
Financial Sector Master Plan employment nor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar
(FSMP) to develop a resilient, “The liberalisation plan Aziz said the local economy
diversified and efficient will be supplemented with would improve from the sec-
financial sector. sufficient safeguards to en- ond half of the year onwards.
BNM said in a statement sure that the overall financial Speaking to reporters yes-
more than 90% of the FSMP intermediation function of terday, Zeti said the economy
initiatives have been com- the financial system remains would see effects from the
pleted or are being imple- intact, effective and sound,” contraction in the first half
mented on an ongoing basis. it said. due to the global slowdown
“Domestic banks today “Capacity and institutional but the second half would see
are well capitalised with building efforts will continue things improving.
risk-weighted capital ratio to be pursued, complemented “The domestic economy
(RWCR) of 12.5% and an by enhancements to the continues to grow and the
average asset size of RM91.6 regulatory, supervisory and results for any measure
billion. Domestic banks are surveillance framework to taken now will only be seen
also more resilient with preserve the resilience of the in nine months. The setting
strengthened corporate gov- financial system. up of ‘mega’ Islamic banks
ernance, efficient internal “With immediate effect, here with paid-up capital of
structures, robust risk man- existing domestic Islamic US$1 billion is a major mile-
agement practices and diver- banks that wish to scale up stone in the country’s effort to
sified sources of income. their operations and expand tranform into a world Islamic
“Despite the increasingly into global markets are given financial hub.
challenging environment, greater flexibility to enter into
domestic banks have man- strategic partnerships with
aged to maintain a market foreign players through an
share of above 70%. Malay-
sia’s approach towards the
liberalisation will be selec-
increased foreign equity
limit of up to 70%. These
banks will be required to
tive and sequenced to ensure
maximum benefits to the
maintain a paid-up capital
of at least US$1 billion,”
offers more
country,” said the statement.
“Financial institutions
read the statement.
With immediate effect,
free seats
are in a greater state of investment banks are KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia is
once more offering sweet deals
India keen to sell nuclear to its guests, by offering free
seats as introduction to its two
new routes – Singapore-Lang-
reactors to Malaysia kawi and Penang-Singapore.
These new routes will simul-
NEW DELHI: India has ex- Sudhinder Thakur, executive taneously commence on June
pressed interest in selling small director (corporate plan- 1, 2009 with daily services.
nuclear reactors to Malaysia ning) of the Nuclear Power “By opening up these
and other developing countries, Corporation of India Ltd routes, we are looking forward
if the governments are keen to (NPCIL) told Bernama. to stimulating more travel and
use it to generate power. After India conducted a tourism activities which will
At present, India is the nuclear test in 1974, the Nu- definitely benefit the country’s
only country in the world that clear Suppliers Group barred economy,” said AirAsia Regional
produces the 220-megawatt it from trading in nuclear Head of Commercial, Kathleen
(MWe) pressurised-heavy- technology. But when India Tan, in a statement yesterday.
water reactor after Canada, a signed a controversial nuclear The free seats deals are
key producer, abandoned the deal with the US last October, exclusively available online via
project as production was no the sanction was lifted. AirAsia’s website at www.aira-
longer economical. “From a technical point of sia.com or mobile.airasia.com.
“We are willing to sell to view, we can sell these reac- Booking period is from April
friendly nations like Malaysia, tors,” said Thakur, adding that 27 to May 3, 2009 for travel
if there is a genuine interest, India was ready to promote between June 1, 2009 and Jan
as nuclear power production the indigenous reactor to 31, 2010.
is a long term commitment,” other countries.