Kuantan is the state capital of Pahang, the 3rd largest state in Malaysia. It is situated near the mouth of the Kuantan River and faces the South China Sea. If one measures the distance along the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, it is located roughly halfway between Singapore and Kota Bharu. Kuantan is the 9th largest city in Malaysia.
Recently, the National Physical Plan 2005 identified Kuantan as one of the future growth centres and a hub for trade, commerce, transportation and tourism. Kuantan is also considered as the social, economic and commercial hub for East Coast Peninsular Malaysia due to its strategic location. Rapid development since early 21st century has transformed and modernized Kuantan. Since 2005, Kuantan has had many development projects across the city, including Putra Square, Mahkota Square, Bukit Gambang Water Resort, Kuantan Sentral, Pahang Tech Park and Kuantan Port City under the Kuantan District Locality Plan 2004-2015. Recently, the introducing of Malaysia's first Special Economy Zone (SEZ) is located at Kuantan to boost the regional economy, tourism and growth. As an effort to catalyse the growth of Kuantan Metropolitan Precinct, government has located a petroleum manufacturing area in Pekan, a neighbour town of Kuantan and expected to allocate some funds to enhance the growth across the region.