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Shifting to an innovation economy - page 9 / 16





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The promising land in the north


sustainable economic growth to the northern regions with the right partnerships

level and use these as tools to help the agen- da of moving the country up the value chain.”

The agricultural vision is for the NCER to become a modern food zone for Malaysia and help the county increase its efficiency in food production. Mr Rafiq says, “The NCIA is a facilitator; we look at a business case and see how we can facilitate it. For agri- culture, we are looking at sustainable propo- sitions. We are looking at new ways to do farming, new ways to do different econom- ic activities as a result of farming, and new ways to increase the crop yields.”

EXPANDING business boundaries to gen- erate sustainable growth in the north of Malaysia is the driving force behind the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA). Founded in 2008, the NCIA is a

In manufacturing, Malaysia’s expertise and resources have been instrumental in powering the world’s digital revolution. The largest semiconductor companies on the planet have long used Malaysia – Penang in

particular – as their base to bring affordable technology to the en- tire world. To move the country to a high-income economy, the NCIA sees a need to now focus on more resilient parts of the manu- facturing value chain, such as up- stream product development or factory automation, and also downstream solution development. For tourism, the NCIA wants to focus on two key sectors: nature/eco and culture/heritage. Its phased ap- proach of developing destinations that are integrated with one an- other will result in tourists wanting to stay for longer and spend more. one-stop facilitator that helps pri- vate enterprises find their econom- ic niche and get the most out of the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER). The NCER was estab- lished by the Malaysian government to tap into the potential of the north- ern part of Malaysia, which en- compasses the states of Kedah, Per- ak (its four northern districts), Perlis and Penang. DATO’ REDZA The NCIA aims to help turn the RAFIQ areaintoasustainableeconomicre- Chief Executive of gionby2025,empoweredbyapop- NCIA ulation living a balanced lifestyle with a holistic approach to business. The apolitical body lifts the government’s blue- print for development off the page and turns northern potential into a reality. It is a cat- alyst for private-sector participation in the region in three main sectors: agriculture, manufacturing and services, which com- prises two components, namely tourism and logistics. Additionally, the NCIA sees health tourism as an area of major potential – by collabo- rating with private and public sectors it will develop Penang as Asia’s integrated health- care island city and position Langkawi and Penang as preferred tourist destinations by linking them with other tourist clusters in the states of Kedah, Perak, Perlis and Penang. “The northern region is the rice bowl of the country with a lot of agricultural activ- ities,” says Dato’ Redza Rafiq, chief execu- tive of the Northern Corridor Implementa- tion Authority. “There is manufacturing in Kedah and Penang. The services sector, in- cluding tourism and logistics, is very strong in the north. We are leveraging on these core competencies to take them to the next The logistics sector is poised to enable the growth of the NCER, having the Penang Airport connecting the region within a three- hour flight and Penang Port strategically lo- cated on one of the world’s busiest water- ways. The NCIA intends to nurture the lo- gistics ecosystem to serve it existing and po- tential stakeholders as well. ‚óŹ

World Report 9

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