Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Seri Ismail Sabri has launched the Kedah Rubber City (KRC), which aims to become a leader in the growth of the domestic rubber industry and a global hub for the high-value rubber industry. By 2025, KRC seeks to attract MYR 10 billion (USD 2.38 billion) in prospective investments and generate 15,000 new employments.
The industrial city, which is located along the Malaysia-Thailand border’s Rubber Belt, will foster stronger regional cooperation and integration and act as a catalyst for connecting major rubber producers in the region through the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle platform. Seven clusters have been identified namely Advanced Latex Products, Tyre and Tyre Related Products, Automotive Rubber Products, Engineering Rubber Products, Advanced Rubber Materials, Biotechnology and Services & Support. KRC will operate a rubber product innovation center, supporting both upstream and downstream activities. It spans 503 hectares with 201 hectares in Phase 1 completed and 302 hectares in Phase 2 scheduled to be implemented in 2023.
The KRC is part of the wider Northern Corridor Economic Region strategic project, which has garnered pledged investments totaling MYR 4 billion (USD 953 million) and created around 7,000 jobs. For instance, strategic cooperation between Mitsui & Co (Malaysia) and Hong Seng Consolidated Bhd has resulted in an MYR 3 billion (USD 715 million) investment and 1,600 new jobs. Mitsui’s expertise will also help to strengthen the raw material supply chain in the production of nitrile butadiene latex (NBL) polymers. Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC) and the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) have also formed a specific collaboration to facilitate investors’ entry to KRC.
(Sources: New Straits Times; The Edge Markets; Business Today)