Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Irwan Serigar Abdullah (right) and Morshidi (second right) chatting with programme owners at the soft launch of GREAT 2016 in Kuching. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / THE STAR
KUCHING: Entrepreneurship development is one of Sarawak’s key initiatives to ensure that its economy remains strong and resilient, says state secretary Tan Sri Morshidi Abdul Ghani.
He said this was important as the state’s economy was now moving away from agriculture, timber and oil & gas towards industrialisation.
“While we are blessed with an abundance of natural resources, natural resources are finite.
“The way forward in a globalised economy is to invest heavily in the infinite and that is the human capital of Sarawak, especially through entrepreneurship development,” he said at the soft launch of the Gathering of Rising Entrepreneurs, Act Together (Great) 2016 event at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) .
Towards this end, Morshidi said, the state government encouraged the development of new businesses and entrepreneurs in all economic sectors.
He said the government also advocated competition so that the economy could develop more quickly and efficiently.
“There is also great potential beyond the domestic market.
“Expanding abroad provides our entrepreneurs the space to scale up their businesses, capture a bigger market share, create more personal wealth and increase social wealth by creating more jobs locally,” he added.
On Great 2016, Morshidi said local entrepreneurs and graduates would gain insight on entrepreneurship by participating in the event.
“It is a good platform for entrepreneurs from all over Sarawak.
“The opportunities for discovery, networking, funding and empowering themselves should not be missed,” he said.
He added that the event clusters, namely youth, women, halal, green technology and social entrepreneurship were in line with the state government’s initiatives to ensure equitable and inclusive development in Sarawak.
Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said Great 2016 would bring together start-ups, entrepreneurs and funders from all sectors to promote entrepreneurship.
He said some 5,000 participants are expected to attend the event at BCCK on April 2 to 3, which will be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“This will be an opportunity for people to share knowledge and promote entrepreneurship. We will bring experts from Silicon Valley and other parts of the world.
“Sarawak has a lot of potential in culture, food and technology among others, so we want to train Sarawakians to be entrepreneurs in various sectors,” he said.
Initiated by the Finance Ministry and National Entrepreneur Development Office in collaboration with Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre, Great 2016 offers activities for existing and budding entrepreneurs, including clinic sessions, boot camps, networking sessions and a “Marketplaze” showcasing the products of local entrepreneurs.