Steps to boost IMT-GT

THE Penang Government is taking an aggressive approach to promote
the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) and make the
grouping a viable option to boost the regional economy.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Abdul Malik Abul
Kassim said the IMT-GT had huge potential as it could boost the member
countries’ economic activities.

He had led a two-day delegation
to Bangkok on Jan 22 to woo prospective investors to Penang and paid a
courtesy call on Songkhla Province Governor Sonthi Techanond.

want to boost the IMT-GT. As the grouping’s joint business council
chairman is a Penangite, the success of the grouping is of mutual
interest to this (state) government,’’ he said.

He will be leaving for Acheh next month to discuss the prospects of joint-ventures between Indonesian and Penang businessmen.

Besides looking into developing the halal
food industry, Abdul Malik said he would deliberate on strengthening
the business network between the Penang and Acheh chambers of commerce.

are looking at encouraging the southern Thai industrial ope-rators to
export their shipments through Penang Port while Acheh can become a hub
for the supply chain of goods for small medium enterprises here,’’ he

The IMT-GT encompasses In-donesia’s provinces in Sumatera,
five southernmost Thai provinces and Malaysia’s Perlis, Kedah, Penang,
Perak and Selangor. Kelantan has also applied to be a member of the

On another issue, Abdul Malik said the Penang Government would increase the circulation of its official news bulletin Suara Rakyat.

said the distributing networks would be expanded and the state
government had identified several outlets including Starbucks
restaurants to distribute the bulletins.

It would also increase its publication frequency from the current four to six times annually, he said.

Now, the bulletin is mostly available in government departments and agencies.

is also handed out to community leaders in the 40 state constituencies.
It has an average circulation of 20,000 copies per issue.

Malik said the state was open to criticisms and differing views, adding
that it was seeking former journalists to play an active role in its
proposed freedom of information legislation which would be tabled

The Freedom of Media Com-mittee which he chairs will
obtain views from ex-journalists to ensure its objectives reach the
target audience.

Abdul Malik said the committee has also formed
a network for bloggers in Penang as the state hoped to set up an online
interactive Suara Rakyat portal.