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Premier: Sarawak’s manufacturing sector poised for growth despite facing hurdles

Premier: Sarawak’s manufacturing sector poised for growth despite facing hurdles

07 Nov 2023

Sarawak’s manufacturing sector has shown growth despite having faced significant hurdles in realising the potential, said Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg.

He said the state had witnessed a surge in the export of machinery, equipment and intermediate goods.

Approved investments in the manufacturing sector, particularly within the electrical and electronic industry, are also on the rise, he added.

“Sarawak has experienced strong growth in external trade with both exports and imports seeing double-digit growth.

“This growth is driven by strong commodity prices in sectors like oil and gas, aluminium, ferro-alloys, and crude palm oil,” he said.

He made these remarks in his keynote address at the Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad (MIDF) Automation and Digital Forum (Sarawak Edition) at a hotel here today.

His text of speech was read by Deputy Minister of International Trade and Investment, Datuk Malcolm Mussen Lamoh.

In his address, Abang Johari said Malaysia’s manufacturing sector continues to spearhead economic transformation, making a substantial contribution to export revenue and job creation.

It places emphasis on the production of high-value, diverse and sophisticated goods, especially in key sectors such as electrical and electronics, machinery and equipment, and chemicals, he added.

“While we acknowledge the potential risks associated with global uncertainties such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and China’s zero-Covid-19 policy which could impact Sarawak’s external demand, it’s important to highlight that, despite these challenges, there have been notable growth.

“The growth is not only evident in the state’s economy, which has shown resilience due to the proactive initiatives of the state government in the face of disruptions, but also in the country’s manufacturing sector,” he elaborated.

He also gave a positive outlook for private consumption, fuelled by the rebound of the labour market and the normalisation of economic activities.

He said key government initiatives, including Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) and Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia, have played a vital role in boosting consumer spending.

Furthermore, he said both public and private investments are poised for robust growth, primarily driven by substantial public investments allocated for development projects.

“To sustain a growth rate exceeding three percent, Malaysia must actively seek new avenues for expansion. Sarawak stands as a prime candidate.

“The state should transition from being primarily an exporter of raw materials to a hub for manufacturing, leveraging its abundant resources and strategic proximity to consumer markets in North Asia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“Both Federal and State governments have put in place initiatives to not only help boost Sarawak’s economy, but also address the challenges faced by local companies that are striving to stay in business and remain relevant and competitive,” he said.

Among those present at the event was MIDF Group chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Mamat.

Source: The Sun Daily