Sabah to triple manufacturing sector’s GDP contribution to state by 2030, says deputy CM
20 May 2021
The Sabah government aims to boost the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to about RM20 billion by 2030, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Joachim Gunsalam.
Joachim, who is also Sabah Industrial Development Minister, said the sector currently contributed only RM6.47 billion, mainly due to the lack of downstream processed products available for export.
“The Ministry of Industrial Development is on a mission to rejuvenate the state’s manufacturing sector in order to generate more job opportunities for our youth, ranging from low-skilled to high-skilled jobs.
“Our local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be positioned to be the catalyst for the state’s economy and the people’s income as well. I am confident that this is achievable by improving our SMEs’ production through exposure to and the adoption of the latest technology to make them more competitive in the international market,” he said during his keynote address at the one-day webinar on “The State’s Industrialisation: A Solution to Migration and Youth Unemployment in Sabah” today.
He said the state government was in full support of its SMEs. “We envision them to grow big and strong in the future,” he added.
Sabah recorded 5.8 per cent of unemployment in 2019, which is the highest in Malaysia.
Joachim said although Malaysia had pursued a trade-intensive policy since independence, the industrialisation had hardly made any significant progress in Sabah and the manufacturing or industrial contribution to the state’s GDP had remained low over the years.
“Sabah is far behind and, in order to catch up, we can no longer follow the normal phase of industrialisation. We need a smart shortcut. We also need to ask why such an intended industrialisation progress did not take place in Sabah,” he added.
According to Joachim, there are several lessons from the industrial revolution that could bring changes which include strong fundamental support from a stable government in terms of funding, infrastructure, policy, regulation, skills, talents and technologies, as well as the promotion and nurturing of local SMEs.
He said they also included moving towards sustainable green industrialisation and smart manufacturing; as well as strong consensus and solid partnerships between the government and private sectors, the academia and the society as the hardcore supporters and consumers to industrial products and services.
“We need more openness and innovation to create a future of development and prosperity. We need smart industrialisation to shorten the process. Therefore, we must seize the opportunities in technological revolution and industrial transformation,” he said.