15 April 2009
KUALA TERENGGANU: The Terengganu government will make the tourism sector the backbone of economic development, said Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said.
He said the state could not depend on its oil and gas reserves as the two commodities would dry up eventually.
"In view of the current economic uncertainties, it is clear that we cannot depend on the oil and gas industry, especially after the recent dip in prices of these commodities," he added.
He said this here recently at a media briefing on the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) development in Terengganu.
Also present was ECER chief executive officer Datuk Jebasingam Issace John.
Ahmad said the state should provide sufficient room for the tourism sector to progress by developing natural attractions like lakes, islands and beaches with the ECER funds.
"Following our discussion with Firefly, the airline has agreed to make direct flights from Singapore to Terengganu in June," he said.
He said the state had also identified other airlines, especially from China, to make direct flights.
For promotion, Ahmad said that billboards featuring Terengganu's islands, lakes and beaches would be installed at KL International Airport.
Apart from tourism, he said the state would focus on the petrochemical, oil and gas industries at Kertih Plastic Park (KPP), which had attracted investments worth RM195mil.
He said that KPP, expected to be fully operational by 2015, was capable of attracting investments of up to RM2bil and create 7,000 jobs.
"Even with the economic uncertainties, ECER projects will not have problems and continue to progress as they have sufficient capital and proper plans," he added. — Bernama