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Galore of investment prospects
Posted on : 18 Jul 2016  Source of News: The Borneo Post

KUCHING: Sarawak will continue to enhance trade and investment ties with China, Japan, South Korea and Asean countries.

Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development, Trade and Investment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the state had much to offer investors, such as energy-intensive and downstream industries at Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE). For those into things halal, there is the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub for food production, pharmaceutical, health products and cosmetics, among others.

“Investors who are into high tech manufacturing, especially of electrical and electronic components for the global market, we have Sama Jaya High Tech Park,” he said before witnessing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between the state government and Fujian Province Foreign Affairs Office, China, here yesterday.

The MoU was inked between Fujian Province Foreign Affairs Office deputy director-general Wang Tianming and Assistant Minister of Industrial Development (Investment and Promotion) Datuk Julaihi Narawi.

Awang Tengah added that other notable areas for investments in the state included downstream processing of timber and timber-based products like plywood and furniture, downstream processing and manufacturing in the oil and gas industry, petrochemical industry, shipbuilding, and producing oleochemical in the palm oil industry.

He told those present that the manufacturing sector contributed 26.7 per cent to the state’s economy in 2014.

“For the past two years, Sarawak has been the number two investment destination in Malaysia (after Johor), attracting RM11.8 billion in 2015 and RM9.6 billion in 2014.”

On the MoU, Awang Tengah, who is also Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister, said it would strengthen ties between Malaysia and China – especially Sarawak and Fujian Province – in terms of economy and trade.

“China is an important trading partner and major source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for Sarawak. In 2013, our export to China totalled RM8.4 billion while our imports totalled RM3.3 billion. The following year, Sarawak’s export to China totalled RM7.9 billion and imports totalled RM3.9 billion,” he said.

“Our main trading items with China include natural gas, timber and timber products, electrical components, manufactured goods, and machinery,” he said, adding he would be going to China next month to meet several investors who are keen to investing in the state’s electronic and food processing industries.

The MoU, he said, could also spur business and social activities, strengthen people-to-people exchanges between the governments and private sector of both countries, and bolster cultural and educational exchanges.

“The state government greatly values our close ties with the People’s Republic of China. The visit by the Fujian delegation shows the continued goodwill and friendship enjoyed by both parties,” he said.

“I sincerely hope this strong relationship between our governments, business communities and our people can bring all round prosperity for both countries.”

Meanwhile, Wang said Fujian Province was committed to strengthen sister relationship with Sarawak and that the timing for mutual cooperation, especially in terms of investment, was ideal.

“After more than three decades of development, we (Fujian) have accumulated abundant production capacity. By that, I mean many businesses in Fujian, both state-owned and private sector, are ready to go global,” he said.

“Of course we know that Malaysia, especially Sarawak, is a more favourable region for our people to invest.”

He also pointed out Fujian was particularly strong in industries such as petrochemical, machine building, electronic and information as well as traditional industries, such as forestry, fishery, agriculture, food processing, and furniture.

“I think our foundation for cooperation is very strong, and if our technical know-how could join hands and complemented by the natural resources and broad market, we can foresee a very bright future for a win-win situation.”

Also present at the function were Ministry of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development, Trade and Investment permanent secretary Datu Liaw Soon Eng and Fujian Province Foreign Affairs Office division director Yin Lifang.