Fed govt and Kelantan to cooperate and draw investments to the state

SULAIMAN JAAFAR


KOTA BARU: The Federal government, through its agencies including the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), will cooperate with the Kelantan government to bring investments to the state, says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.

He said MIDA and the state's Economic Planning Unit (Upen) has formed a joint-committee to attract more investors to Kelantan.

"The Federal and state governments might have some differences but we are ready to work together for the sake of the people," he told a press conference after the opening of an extension building at ROHM-Wako Electronics (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (RWEM) at the Pengkalan Chepa Industrial Estate, here today.

The event was officiated by Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob. Also present were Japanese ambassador to Malaysia Dr Makio Miyagawa, RWEM honorary chairman Datuk Yosuke Yoshioka and managing director of ROHM Co Ltd, Katsumi Azuma.

Mustapa said the government has given out licences to three companies to set up cement factories in Gua Musang but two were facing difficulties.

"The other company has been given an extension because it was facing financial problems. The government has approved for Ain Medicare Sdn Bhd, a manufacturer of pharmaceutical products (based in Pengkalan Chepa) to expand its factory which will cost more than RM100 million," he said.

On Japanese investment in the country, Mustapa said Japan was still the number one investor in manufacturing although the biggest overall investor including services and banking was Singapore.

He said ROHM-Wako, which was established here in 1989, spent RM270 million on the new building while machineries set to be installed soon would cost another RM320 million.

"The company is the biggest investor in Kelantan and we should attract more investments to the state. Investments by the private sector will spur the growth of its economy," he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad said the state government through the State Economic Development Corporation (PKINK) and Permodalan Menteri Besar Kelantan (PMBK) is identifying new sites for its industrial estates, especially in Gua Musang and Pasir Mas.

"The industrial estates in Kota Baru have all been taken up. We have so far earmarked a 40-hectare site in Sungai Bagan, Machang for the purpose," he said.