Herbal and Biotechnology Product Cluster Development in the East Coast Economic Region


SYED ZIKRI HASSAN / East Coast Economic Region Development Corporation
ECERDC General Manager, Agriculture Division.




Herbal and Biotechnology Product Cluster Development in the East Coast Economic Region


7th INTRACOM – 2nd ICBWI 2009


23th July 2009

Place Held

PWTC, Kuala Lumpur


The Herbal Industry
Amongst the many industry sectors currently present today, the Herbal and Biotechnology industry is one which is still in its infancy. The herbal industry is currently a multi-billion dollar business with the World Health Organisation projecting a growth from USD5 billion in 2008 to USD 5 Trillion in 2050. The main herbal products are health supplements and neutraceuticals which utilise active phyto chemicals naturally found in herbs, and also cosmetics. The blend of natural and scientific research will result in a safe, effective and high value product.  

Eastern Corridor Economic Region
The Eastern Corridor Economic Region (“ECER”) is a region comprising of the three states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang and the district of Mersing in Johor. The ECER plays host to Peninsula Malaysia’s most developed oil and gas faciltities and is also blessed with beautiful beaches and tropical rainforests. It is served by three major airports which link the region to Kuala Lumpur and destinations around the world. Shipping is facilitated through the ports in Terengganu and Kuantan Port.

The ECER is administered by the three respective states, however, the Eastern Corridor Economic Region Development Council (“ECERDC”) acts as a catalyst for development in the region. A statutory body enacted by an Act of Parliament, the council is chaired by the Prime Minister of Malaysia and is co-chaired by the respective head minister of each state in the region. The ECERDC’s main role is to facilitate investment both domestic and international into the region, tapping into the vast undeveloped for sectors such as manufacturing, oil and gas, agriculture, tourism and education. The ECERDC also acts as a one stop centre, facilitating investors needs from infrastructure requirements to regulatory government approvals. In addition, generous incentives are provided for investors who meet the requirements and constant assistance in terms of government support is provided for those who set up operations in theregion. Herbal and Biotechnology in the Region Eastern Corridor Economic Region Development Council or (“ECERDC”) recognizes the need to have a herbal and biotechnology industry in the region. Traditionally, the use of herbs is prevalent in the three states of the Region and the application of modern biotechnological processes will only further enhance and add value to the traditional herbal remedies. Leveraging on the rich biodiversity afforded by the untouched rainforests in Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan, with differences between the sandy beaches of Pulau Redang to the highlands of Pahang, the ECER is strategically located and blessed with the right conditions for a thriving herbal and biotechnology industry.

Among the initiatives being undertaken by ECERDC are attracting high value potential investors to the state by providing unparalleled infrastructure and access to quality herbs in the region. Providing infrastructure enablers and the provision of other business enablers allow companies to grow and flourish in the region.
One of the key aspects for a high value industry will be Research and Development (“R&D”). In this aspect, ECERDC has earmarked Universiti Darul Iman (“UDM”) in Terengganu to be the centre of excellence for herbal biotechnology. Courses specifically tailored for the herbal industry and focusing on research and innovation will churn out high quality graduates to spur the industry forward.

Among the developments planned for the region for this industry are:
• High standard Good Agricultural Practice (“GAP”) status farms for feedstock supply;
• R&D and Innovation Cluster; and a
• Herbal Nucleus Centre.

The development of these three major clusters is expected to give the herbal and biotechnology industry a boost to achieve a leap towards becoming a major player in the region.


Herbal, Biotechnology


Symposium 1C (ICBWI)


Investment in Biotechnology Regulation & Ethics/ Product Development & Branding