Investments: Sarawak Ranks Among Top Four


Date Posted : Tuesday 08-Jul-2014

Sarawak has consistently been performing well in attracting investments, both foreign and domestic.

It ranked among the top four states over the last six years in Malaysia.

This achievement is not by accident but the result of the hard work and efforts coupled with business-friendly policies of the State Government led by Barisan Nasional Sarawak, the Minister of Industrial Development, Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah Ali Hasan says in winding the debate on the opening speech of the Yang di Pertua Negeri in the State Legislative Assembly.

Sarawak registered a total investment valued at RM8.3 billion in 2013, 77% more than the RM4.7 billion achieved in 2012.

Out of the RM8.3 billion registered, RM6.8 billion or 82% came from foreign investment while the remaining RM1.5 billion or 18% came from domestic investment.

He says Sarawak has attracted the highest investment totalling RM7.3 billion from January to March 2014, followed by Kedah (RM4 billion) and Selangor   (RM1.9 billion), based on the latest report from Malaysian Investment Development Authority or MIDA.

Out of the RM7.3 billion investment received, RM7.1 billion (97%) came from foreign investment.

The major sources of foreign investment came from Japan with investment of RM5.1 billion in chemicals and chemical products and RM1.2 billion in basic metal products. The new investments will generate over 1,300 employment opportunities.

The State Industrial Coordination Committee (ICC) also approved 44 projects in 2013 with a total investment of RM116 million and generating about 1,100 employment opportunities, mainly in food processing, wood-based activities and services.

In the first quarter of 2014, ICC approved 23 projects with a total investment of RM105.9 million, mainly in wood-based industry and services.

Most of the investments approved came from domestic investment (99%). These investments are expected to generate about 1,000 employment opportunities in the state.

Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah says the state has been enjoying political stability, peace and racial harmony to enable the government to focus on the development agenda, particularly the new initiative in the mid region of the state under Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) Development programme.

He believes the people of Sarawak will remain grateful to Pehin Sri Abdul Taib for SCORE, which was his brainchild when he was the Chief Minister as SCORE will create new sources of wealth for them.

As the chief architect of SCORE, his leadership was visionary with a strong desire to develop a strong foundation for the economy of the new generation.

Undoubtedly, the new Chief Minister will continue with the development agenda of SCORE towards achieving the status of an industrial nation so that the people can earn high salaries.

Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah says the State Government will continue to make SCORE  an attractive investment destination in the region to propel the state towards a high income and advanced economy by 2020 and beyond.

In this respect, various infrastructure projects such as access roads to hydro-electric power (HEP) projects, an airport, a deep seaport, industrial parks as well as utility projects, namely, water and electricity supplies and telecommunication networks are being implemented to meet the requirements of the investors.

He says many of the projects like the access road to Murum HEP Dam project, Samalaju Water Supply Project involving the construction of 80 MLD water treatment plant, 5 MLD elevated reinforced concrete reservoir and associated facilities and recently, the development of interim port facilities at Samalaju Port.

The interim port facilities have the capacity to handle 4 million tonnes berthing per annum, equipped with two barge berths and one RORO Ramp.

Other projects are also progressing well and are at various stages of implementation.

Undoubtedly, the development of access roads to HEP Dam projects in the interior has also benefited the people in those areas.

The new road networks will integrate the urban and rural areas and unlock the economic potentials of the interior region, spur the development of relevant industries and create income-generating activities.

This will ultimately improve the standard of living of the rural communities. With better accessibility, the rural communities will be able to enjoy better social services such as health and education.

Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah says the development of SCORE has attracted huge investment projects into the state.

Currently, 18 investment projects have been approved in SCORE with total investments of RM29.43 billion and  expected to create over 15,000 job opportunities.

Out of these, 14 projects with investment totalling RM24.17 billion are located at Samalaju Industrial Park, one project with total investment of RM0.6 billion is located in Mukah, two projects with total investments of RM2.11 billion are located at Tanjung Manis and one project with total investment of RM2.55 billion is located at Tanjung Kidurong.

Besides, two of the three companies, namely, Pertama Ferroalloys Sdn Bhd and OM Materials (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd are constructing their manufacturing plants and facilities  in Samalaju Industrial Park now.

He says Asia Advanced Materials Sdn Bhd has completed the site preparatory works and two other companies, namely, Elkem Carbon Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Cosmos Chemical Bhd are doing their site preparation.

Six companies that have been issued with manufacturing licenses will begin their land preparation works once their Power Purchase Agreements have been finalized.

The other investors are at various stages of discussions and negotiations with the State Government on their interest to invest in SCORE, particularly at Samalaju Industrial Park.

Currently, 5,712 construction and operational workers are employed in various manufacturing plants and related facilities in the park.

The trigger projects in SCORE have created business opportunities, especially to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), thereby creating further multiplier effects to the local economy, including job opportunities.

In Sama Jaya High-Tech Park, Kuching, Comtec Solar International (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd is expected to complete its solar ingot and wafer plant soon.

When completed, the company is expected to produce 1,000 megawatt equivalent of solar wafers and employ 1,300 workers.

All projects that are being implemented in the state, including those in Samalaju Industrial Park are subject to stringent requirements of the Department of Environment (DOE).

Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah says although the growth of the global economy recorded moderate and imbalanced growth in 2013, the Malaysian economy recorded a growth of 4.7% in 2013 mainly precipitated by strong internal demands.

Sarawak recorded a growth of 4.7% due to positive growth in all sectors of the economy.

He says the Malaysian Economy is expected to record stable growth from 4.5% to 5.5% for the year 2014 as forecasted by Bank Negara.

The growth for Sarawak is expected to increase to 5%.

He says the small and medium industries remain the backbone of the economic development of the state and country.

A total of 645,136 small and medium enterprises are operating in Malaysia, based on the census carried out on the economy in 2011.

They represent 97.3% of business enterprises in the country. The picture is the same in Sarawak   with 43,830 small and medium enterprises.

The total number of small and medium enterprises in Sarawak are as follows:

Sector Economic census 2011
Agriculture and Manufacturing 2,299
Construction 904
Mining and quarry 19
Services 40,608
Total 43,830

The government, as a matter of policy, emphasises on the development of small and medium enterprises in order to achieve the status of high income economy through growth that is being driven by innovation and productivity.

In this regard, diverse kinds of assistance and facilities are provided to raise the capacity and capability of small and medium enterprise to be more competitive in the domestic and global levels.

Programmes of financial assistance for the year 2014 being offered by government agencies in Sarawak are as follows:

i)SME Bank offers Skim Pembangunan Ekonomi Desa (SPED), Skim Pembangunan PKS (SDS), Dana Usahawan Muda (YEF), Dana Pembangunan Halal with an allocation  of RM376 million.

  1. ii) TERAJU offers soft loans with a total allocation of RM100 million.

Iii) MIDF offers Skim Pinjaman Mudah untuk Sektor Perkhidmatan (SLSSS), Skim Pinjaman Mudah for the development service capacity with the aallocation of RM60 million.

The Ministry of Industrial Development is having Skim Pinjaman Industri Kecil and Sederhana (SPIKS) and the Program Pembangunan Usahawan with the allocation of RM2.75 million for the year 2014.

In this regard, small and medium enterprises in Sarawak should use the facilities in the development of their businesses.

The State Government has invested more than RM3 billion for the development of 29 industrial estates with total acreage of 7,200 hectares throughout the state including in towns like Kuching, Kota Samarahan, Bintulu, Miri, Sarikei, Kapit, Lawas and Tanjung Manis for  small and medium entrepreneurs.

The government has set aside an area of 481 acres at Samalaju Industrial park for small and medium enterprises to ensure their involvement in the development of SCORE projects.

Earlier, Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah, who is also the Second Minister of Environment and Resource Planning and the Minister of Public Utilities, put on record his thanks and deep appreciation to His Excellency, Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak for his opening speech which touched on many pertinent issues relating to well-being of the people

He believes Pehin Sri Abdul Taib will remain close to the heart of the people in view of the enormous contribution that he made as the leader of the State Government, as the fourth Chief Minister for 33 years.

Under his leadership, which is visionary and putting great emphasis on the unity and harmony of the people, comprising diverse religious and ethnic groups, Sarawak has been able to achieve tremendous progress in all sectors of the economy.

He also congratulated the Member for Tanjung Datu, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Haji Adenan Haji Satem, on his appointment as the fifth Chief Minister of Sarawak on 28 February, 2014.

He and his colleagues in the State Barisan Nasional have full confidence in the capability of the new Chief Minister in the administration and will continue with the struggle of developing Sarawak to achieve the status of a developed state of high income economy by the year 2020 and beyond.

As the new Chief Minister, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan has a deep knowledge and understanding of the state and a wide experience in the adminstration of the state and country. He is people-oriented and approachable