Awg Tengah: Greater collab between state govt, private sector way forward for Sarawak business sector
13 May 2023
Greater collaboration between the state government and the private sector is the way forward for Sarawak’s business sector, said Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
“I had mentioned many times that we, the state government, will continue to work together with the business communities through various associations, to assist us to promote our products so we can enter bigger market to enhance our capacity and capability.
“I would like to see all these be done through greater cooperation between government and private sector, only through this, the spirit of working together that we can build on whatever we are going to do very successful and can go bigger and explore bigger market,” he said.
He was speaking when officiating at the Sarawak Manufacturers’ Association (SMA) 60th Anniversary Gala Dinner 2023 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) tonight.
The International Trade, Industry and Investment minister, representing Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg at the event, also noted that the last couple of years have been challenging for everybody because of the Covid-19 pandemic as most economies experienced downturns due to weakened global growth prospects, and Sarawak was not spared as well.
“However, the pandemic has accelerated digitalisation across sectors and unlocked new opportunities for Sarawak to forge ahead for a brighter future.
“SMEs (small and medium enterprises) are the backbone of our economy, making up to 98.5 per cent of the total business establishments in the state and contributing significantly to employment opportunities and economic activities,” he said.
During the difficult period of the Covid-19 pandemic, Awang Tengah said the Sarawak government has provided financial and non-financial assistance to assist the SMEs.
“Through BKKS 1.0 to 9.0, Sarawak government has disbursed RM6.7 billion to the rakyat and business community to lighten their burdens during the difficult times caused by the pandemic.
“I would like to commend the business communities during this difficult period. The private sector as the engine of growth has shown resilience during the tough times of the pandemic by adopting innovation and new technology,” he said.
Adding on, Awang Tengah said that Sarawak has embarked on the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 to ensure that the state’s economic development is not hampered by the pandemic.
“We have engaged with all stakeholders including the business communities to come up with PCDS 2030.
“Six economic sectors have been identified to spearhead this growth, including contribution from the manufacturing sector towards expected GDP growth of 6 to 8 per cent per annum,” he explained.
He also noted that manufacturing is an important sector as it contributed RM37.2 billion or 28.4 per cent towards Sarawak economy and employed more than 167,000 people in 2021.
“This sector is expected to grow further and contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of Sarawak in the future.
“As the world gradually recovers from the pandemic, Sarawak is well-positioned to welcome investors as we remain as among one of the most popular investment destinations in Malaysia for the manufacturing sector.
“For the year 2022 till first quarter of 2023, Sarawak has approved a total investment worth RM9.6 billion for the manufacturing sector. This investment does not include other sectors.
“At the same time, there are more potential investors who have expressed interests to invest in Sarawak and are actively engaging with our ministry on their proposed investment in green projects such hydrogen, ammonia, steel, sour gas, etc,” he added.
On the event, Awang Tengah congratulated the organiser of the grand dinner which marks a meaningful milestone for SMA.
“It is a significant milestone for SMA to be able to reach its 60 years’ anniversary. You have grown to a strong 200-member association of manufacturers from a broad range of industries and provides job opportunities to more than 10,000 Sarawakians.
“I believe our industries are capable of rapid growth, leveraging on opportunities created by the various initiatives of the government. This is where the Sarawak Manufacturers’ Association can play a more active role in elevating the productivity and efficiency of your members, as well as the manufacturing sector in Sarawak.
“I would like to thank SMA for your efforts all these while and wish you well and wish you success,” he added.
The dinner was made merrier with several cultural performances including the 24 festive drums and live band.
Also present were Deputy Minister of International Trade, Industry and Investment Datuk Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, Deputy Minister of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Dr Ripin Lamat, Consul General of Brunei Darussalam in Kuching Noni Zurainah Ismi, Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Kuching, Raden Sigit Witjaksono, SMA president Peter Chai and organising chairman cum SMA vice president Stephen Hii.
Source: The Borneo Post