KANGAR, Jan 21 — The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) will focus on improving transportation, logistics and distribution, and utilities, as well as urban and rural communications to boost Perlis’ economic ecosystem.
NCIA is responsible for providing direction, devising policies and strategies that promote and accelerate development of the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER).
In a statement today, it stressed on communications and mobility as crucial enablers in facilitating the state’s socio-economic recovery from the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It said Perlis’ strategic geographical position near the Malaysia-Thailand border has given it an edge to capitalise on the various economic and business opportunities in cross-border trade.
“Logistics and mobility infrastructure need to be improved to overcome congestion at the Malaysia-Thailand border. Padang Besar is one of the main gateways for export of goods from Southern Thailand,” it pointed out.
To this end, it said the Padang Besar terminal had been upgraded to reduce congestion and ease cargo movement.
According to NCIA, KTMB’s container handling capacity of 110,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) yearly at Padang Besar railway terminal has been increased to 150,000 TEUs.
Perlis Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man said the upgrading had effectively enhanced container management at the border.
“This will attract more private sector investment and encourage economic activity as well as boost investment in the Perlis Inland Port (PIP).
“PIP was designed to further boost trade between Malaysia and Thailand and at the same time, meet the needs of industry players in the Chuping Valley Industrial Area (CVIA) by providing direct rail connection to Penang Port,” he said.
To date, he said investment commitments had exceeded RM460 million and more than 600 job opportunities would be created by companies operating in the Medical, Electrical and Electronic (E&E) and Smart Agriculture industries.
“Development of the CVIA is ahead of schedule with an area of 60 acres set to be completed with infrastructure at the end of January 2021 and ready for investors.
“The CVIA offers a huge opportunity for socio-economic development of the state with a potential total private investment of RM4.5 billion and creating more than 12,000 jobs once it is fully operational,” he said.
Azlan said NCIA is working with the Perlis state government to develop Kangar Sentral, a new integrated bus terminal with greater capacity and better access as well as various new facilities for the public.
He said construction work began in October last year and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2023 at a cost of RM30 million.
“To revitalise Perlis’ tourism industry, a feasibility study will be done on the redevelopment of the Kuala Perlis Jetty Terminal.
“Logistics and communication facilities are much needed to enable more effective traffic flow and promote economic activity,” he added.
NCIA chief executive Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John said the statutory body prioritises improvements in communications and mobility infrastructure to drive economic activity across the state especially border trade between Malaysia and Thailand.
“The goal is to bring socio-economic development to underdeveloped areas and ultimately benefit the people,” he said. — Bernama