Sarawak has consistently been performing well in attracting investments, both foreign and domestic and is ranked among the top four states over the last six years in Malaysia, which attracted the highest value of investments. This achievement is by no mean an accident but the result of the hard work and efforts, coupled with business-friendly policies of the State Government.
Sarawak attracted the highest investment totaling RM7.3 billion from January to March 2014, followed by Kedah (RM4 billion) and Selangor (RM1.9 billion) based on the latest report from MIDA (Malaysian Investment Development Authority).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. These new investments are expected to generate over 1,300 employment opportunities.
In 2013, Sarawak registered a total investment valued at RM8.3 billion in the manufacturing sector, which was 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. The investments are expected to generate about 3,400 employment opportunities in the State, which is 55% more than the 2,200 employment opportunities generated in 2012.
The Minister of Industrial Development, Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah Ali Hassan in winding the debate on the opening speech of the Yang di Pertua Negeri, said in the first quarter of 2014, State Industrial Coordination Committee (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.
In addition, the State Industrial Coordination Committee (ICC) 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.
Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah said the economy of Malaysia is projected to record a stable growth of around 4.5% to 5.5% for the year 2014 as forecasted by Bank Negara. The growth rate for Sarawak is projected to rise to 5%.
He said though the growth of the global economy was a bit sluggish in 2013 with uneven growth momentum, Malaysia recorded a growth rate of 4.7% in 2013, which was motivated by strong internal demand. Sarawak recorded a growth rate of 4.7% with positive growth in all sectors.
He said the people have reasons to be grateful that Sarawak has been enjoying political stability, peace and harmony among the various ethnic and religious groups. This has enabled the government to focus on the development agenda particularly the development of of the mid region of the State under Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).
This new initiative was the brainchild of the Yang di Petua Negeri, Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud when he was the Chief Minister of Sarawak. His Excellency made invaluable contribution with SCORE increasingly becoming the new source of wealth for the people of Sarawak.
As the chief architect of SCORE, the leadership of Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib, which was visionary, prepared a solid foundation for the state economy for the new generations. The new Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem will continue with the agenda of SCORE to attain the status of an industrialized state to ensure that the Rakyat with enjoy high income in their livelihood.
.Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah said the State Government will continue to make SCORE as an attractive investment destination in the region to propel the State towards a high income and advanced economy by 2020. In this respect, various infrastructure projects such as access roads to hydro-electric power (HEP) projects, airport, deep sea port, industrial parks, diverse utility projects, namely water and electricity supplies and telecommunication networks are being implemented to meet the requirements of the investors.
He said the access road to Murum Hydroelectricity dam project, Samalaju Water Supply Project involving the construction of 80 MLD water treatment plant, 5 MLD elevated reinforced concrete reservoir and associated facilities, the development of interim port facilities at Samalaju Port are among the many projects that have been completed.
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.
He said the development of the infrastructure projects, especially access roads to HEP Dam projects in the interior has also benefitted the Rakyat in the rural areas. The road networks will integrate the urban and rural areas and thus 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 said the development of SCORE has attracted huge investment projects into the State. Currently, 18 investment projects have been approved in SCORE with total investment of RM29.43 billion and are expected to create over 15,000 job opportunities.
Out of these, 14 projects with investment totaling 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 investment 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 the three companies that are in operation in Samalaju Industrial Park now, two other companies, namely Pertama Ferroalloys Sdn Bhd and OM Materials (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd are currently constructing their manufacturing plants and facilities.
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 had been approved and issued with manufacturing licences will begin their land preparation works once their Power Purchase Agreements have been finalised. There are also investors at various stages of discussions and negotiations with the State Government on their interest to invest in SCORE, particularly at Samalaju Industrial Park.
Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah said the robust economic activities as a result of SCORE development have created job opportunities in the State. Currently, 5,712 construction and operational workers are employed in various manufacturing plants and related facilities. The trigger projects in SCORE have also 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).
The small and medium size industries have increasingly become the back borne of the development of the State and national economy. Based on the census of the economy in 2011, there were 645,136 small and medium size industries, which represent 97.3% of industries operating in the country. In Sarawak there were 43,830 SMIs as follows:
No.of SMIs according to sectors
Economic census 2011
Agriculture and manufacturing
Mining and quarry
The contribution of SMIs under the SMIs Master plan 2012 – 2020 will increase as follows:
· From 32.4% to 41% KDNK (Keluaran Dalam Negara Kasar),
· From 59% to 62% manpower; and
· From 19% to 25% export.
He said the Government is emphasizing on the development of SMIs in the efforts to achieve the status of high income economy through growth that will be spearheaded by innovation and productivity. Various assistance and facilities are being developed to raise the capacity and capability of SMIs. This will enable them to compete in both inside the country and globally.
The allegation by the opposition that the government gives special attention to the foreign investors is totally incorrect. Obviously, the opposition, though it has been informed repeatedly about efforts to assist SMIs, has no sincerity and interests in trying to assist the development of SMIs.
Some of the programs of financial assistance being offered by various agencies of the State government in 2014 include Skim Pembangunan Ekonomi Desa (SPED) by SME Bank, Skim Pembangunan PKS (SDS), Dana Usahawan Muda (YEF), Dana Pembangunan Halal and and others with the total allocation of RM376 million.
TERAJU through Dana Mudahcara set aside RM100 million while Malaysian Industrial Development Fund through Easy Loan Scheme for the Service Sector, Easy Loan Scheme for the development of Service Capacity and others with a total allocation of RM60 million.
The Ministry of Industrial Development also provides a loan scheme for Small and Medium Industries and the development enterpreneurs program with a total allocation of RM2.75 million in 2014. The Ministry, through the loan scheme, provides soft loans in the forms of capital flow, purchase of machine and equipment and purchase or renovation of premises.
The assistance being provided by the Government include Transformasi Kedai Runcit (TUKAR) and Transformasi Bengkel Automatif (ATOM) oleh KPDNKK (Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan), Business Accelerator Programme (BAP) and Enrichment and Enhancement Program by SME Corp comprise Program Peningkatan Usahawan Bumiputera (PUTERA) by SEDC; and Geran Pembangunan Pemasaran (MDG) by MATRADE.
He regretted that the utilization of the allocation for Small and Medium Industries (SMIs), until April 2014 is quite low. For example Only RM21 million or 5% of the allocation of RM376 with SME bank is being used while only RM3.1 million out of the total of RM100 million with TERAJU has been used during the same period and only RM6 million or 10% of the total allocation of RM60 million with MIDF has been used.
Therefore, the Small and Medium Industries are urged to make full use of the facilities being set aside by the Government for further growth and development. Besides the Government also provides incentives to small and medium industries to reduce their burden and facilitate growth and expansion of their industries.
The incentives include Pioneering status and investment tax allowance; Development of industrial site which is provided with water and electricity supplies and communication facilities; Competitive land premium; Flexible rate of payment during a period of five years; rebate on land premium during the stated period (30%-50% depending on the location); and competitive electricity and water tariff.
He said the State government has invested more than RM3 billion to develop 29 industrial estates with a total acreage of more than 7,200 hectares throughout the State including Kuching, Kota Samarahan, Bintulu, Miri, Sarikei, Kapit, Lawas and Tanjung for local investors including Small and Medium industries.
The industrial sites include Samalaju Industrial Estate, with a total acreage of 8,800 hectares, which is being developed for heavy industries and power intensive. The Government has also allocated 481 acres on land at Samalaju Industrial Estate for SMIs to ensure their involvement through projects of SCORE.
This should reflect the intention of the Government, which has designated an area with a total acreage of 77,000 hectares at Tanjung Manis as Halal hub for food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, to the development of more industrial estates for the business community throughout the state.
He said the Ministry of Industrial development has taken the initiative through the program of exploring opportunities in the industrial and commercial sector to go down with the related agencies as a step to promote awareness with regards to assistance being provided by the government among entrepreneurs in rural areas.
The agencies involved include SPU, Halal hub in the Chief Minister’s Department, MITI, MIDA, MIDF, SME Corp, SME Bank and MATRADE throughout the State. A total of 6,682 enterpreneurs have joined the program up to April 2014.
He said this is proof of the government commitment to give priority to local entrepreneurs and the business community. However, the initiatives will not serve any purpose if they are not taken advantage of by local SMIs, who need to be more proactive in facing the challenges and getting benefits from the programs being provided by the government,
24 May 2015