Known for its rolling paddy fields and rich ethnic heritage, Kedah is one of the hot spots in Malaysia that one must visit when in the country. While drawing groups of people who enjoy a combination of traditional and rustic as well as a modern and comfortable atmosphere, Kedah has much to offer. Its main attraction is to the west which consists of islands that make up Langkawi. Often called the ‘rice bowl of Malaysia’, Kedah’s history dates back to the time of the Hindus and because of its ideal location on the East-West trade route, it was an important site for trading and settlement. Traders who travelled between China and India often stopped over in Bujang Valley when the waters got rough. Both Bujang Valley and Bukit Meriam are historical sites where the former tells of the early civilization in Kedah and the latter the beginnings of the Kedah Sultanate.Alor Setar is the state capital and other major towns are Kulim and Sungai Petani as well as Kuah in Langkawi. Kedah occupies an area of 9000 km² and has a population of about two million with 75.5 % Malays, 14.2% Chinese, 6.9% Indians, 1.9% non-citizens and 1.5% people from other ethnic groups. Kedah borders the state of Perlis sharing the Thai boundary with Songkhla and Yala in the north and bordering Perak to the south.EconomyKedah is primarily an agricultural state with up and coming developments in the industry and the tourism sectors. Its strategic location and its ample natural resources also contribute to the state’s economy including the recent introduction of high technology and heavy industries. Also, there has been a move towards the aerospace and automotive industries. New business opportunities are also becoming prevalent such as R&D, high-tech, bio-tech, healthcare, manufacturing, petroleum refinery and education. The Kulim Hi-Tech Park was opened in 1996 and some of the foreign and local companies that have relocated here have been Intel, Fuji Elcetric, Sowa Denko, Infineon Technologies, Integris, First Solar and SilTerra. The NCER (Northern Corridor Economic Region) is also important being one of the three economic regions developed according to the ninth Malaysian Plan. The state’s GDP was 10,967.58 in 2005 while it was 11, 543,22 in 2006.