The East Coast Economic Area Development Council (ECERDC) aims to draw RM100 million in dedicated tourism and agribusiness investments.
Baidzawi Che Mat, ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, said the initiative was in line with the Mersing District Local Plan 2030’s emphasis. To strengthen the economy and eradicate poverty in Mersing, Johor, ECERDC and the Johor government will focus on the implementation of strategic development projects, especially in the tourism and agriculture sectors.
Mersing’s top goal is to enhance the local economy by using the district’s natural resources for tourism and agribusiness in order to increase the local community’s living standards.
ECERDC is also educating entrepreneurs through the ECER empowerment programme to help the Mersing community earn more money. With a poverty rate of 7.1%, Mersing has the highest poverty rate in Johor.
A total of 164 new entrepreneurs were produced and educated in areas such as bookkeeping and digitisation.
ECERDC will continue to implement various strategic infrastructure projects under the growth strategy ‘From Rainforest to Reef’ or ‘Rainforest to Reef’ (R2R) under the ECER 2.0 Master Plan, according to Baidzawi, to improve the tourism industry in Mersing (EMP 2.0).
The Sultan Iskandar Marine Park Information and Services Centre (PIPTLSI), which is scheduled to be completed by end of June 2021, is one of the projects being implemented.
“PIPTLSI will act as a one-stop information centre for visitors visiting Mersing’s islands, as well as the ‘Rural Transformation Centre’ will meet the needs of locals.”
The Homestay project in Air Papan, Mersing, is another fascinating project. It is expected to be completed in March 2022 and will allow the local community to earn income through cooperatives that will be formed to manage Kampung stay facilities, as well as the development of jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities related to tourism.