contrastBtngrayscaleBtn oku-icon


plusBtn crossBtn minusBtn


This site
is mobile


Sabah’s fast growing industrial sector attracts new investments

Sabah’s fast growing industrial sector attracts new investments

25 Nov 2023

The rapid growth of the industrial sector in Sabah has attracted new investments.

This is proven when Sabah is listed as the fifth-highest state in drawing foreign and domestic investments, totaling RM9 billion in key sectors, manufacturing and services as of mid 2023, said Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.

“Therefore, the State Government has allocated a total of RM124.06 million for operation and development expenditure to further boost the development of this sector,” he said.

He also highlighted the progress of foreign investment in Sabah, which has added value and stimulated the growth of industrial sector in the State.

He said SK Nexilis Malaysia Sdn Bhd from South Korea and Kibing Group from China have brought a total of RM6.76 billion investment into Sabah.

“As of October 2023, the construction progress of SK Nexilis’ copper foil plant in Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) has reached 96.8 per cent which involves 2,295 Sabahans which is 56 per cent of workers working in factory construction while 275 Sabahans, equivalent to 91 per cent of workers involve in factory operation,” he said.

He said currently, this factory has produced and exported its first batch of 102 tonnes of copper foils to the United States on 23 October 2023.

Furthermore, SK Nexilis, through its subsidiary, has increased its investments in Sabah for the copper granulation plant at KKIP, with an estimated investment value of RM300 million, he said.

“This investment is expected to create 70 job opportunities,” he said.

As for the construction progress on the solar panel manufacturing plant by Kibing Group in KKIP, it has reached 72 per cent and is expected to be fully completed in the first quarter of 2024, he added.

“Moreover, its silica sand processing plant in Sikuati, Kudat has achieved 85 per cent and is expected to be fully completed by end of this year.

“Currently, the number of Sabahans working at the solar panel manufacturing factory in KKIP is 1,100, while 164 are working at the silica sand processing plant in Sikuati, Kudat,” he said.

Masidi also said the State Government’s persistent efforts to attract investment to Sabah have shown results.

“A new foreign investor led by Singapore-based company, Esteel Enterprise Sabah Sdn Bhd (ESTEEL Sabah) has invested in green steel project at Sipitang Oil and Gas Industrial Park (SOGIP). The value of the investment reached RM19.8 billion through three phases and is expected to create a total of 10,000 job opportunities for Sabahans,” he said.

Meanwhile, for domestic investment, this year, Borneo Cement (Sabah) Sdn Bhd will lead the development of an integrated clinker and cement plant in the Tongod district with an estimated investment of RM2 billion, to be carried out in two investment phases.

“This investment will create 1,000 job opportunities as well as enhancing the status of Tongod District as a viable district,” he said.

At the same time, the State Government has allocated a total of RM38 million to Sabah Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO), KKIP Sdn Bhd, POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd and Sabah Oil and Gas Development Corporation (SOGDC) to facilitate implementation of selected investments and projects.

Of that amount, a total of RM28.79 milion is allocated for the implementation of infrastructure development projects in KKIP, SOGIP and Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) Lahad Datu to ensure these industrial parks are more conducive to attract investment to Sabah, he said.

“Besides supporting the initiative to attract foreign and domestic investments to Sabah, this Budget also supports to increase the capacity of micro-entrepreneurs and local businesses, enabling them to be competitive to improve the people’s standard of living through State programmes,” he said.

As for the Small and Medium Industries (SME) and Entrepreneurship, Masidi said SME development is the main catalyst for the manufacturing industry.

“Various entrepreneurial programmes are implemented to spur the development of SME through capacity building, resilience and competitiveness of Sabah SME entrepreneurs,” he said.

He added the collaboration between the State Government with Bataras Hypermarket and Kedai Mesra Petronas will be continued and intensified to market Sabah SME products.

“This effort can provide opportunities for SME entrepreneurs to increase their sales. We must realise that numerous local products have the potential to enter the global market if provided with opportunities and further exploration,” he explained.

In regards to that, he said the State Government will continue to send participants among local entrepreneurs to take part in international expos, such as Gulfood Dubai in United Arab Emirates and World’s Food Expo (WOFEX) in Manila, Philippines.

“The participation of our entrepreneurs in these expos will offer exposure and experience, allowing them to learn effective product marketing and ultimately enter the global market,” he said.

Masidi also said that human capital development is a significant driver for the State’s economic growth.

“The importance of highly skilled available workforce is to support the economic sector towards knowledge, technology and innovation based activities. Therefore, in order to realise these aspirations, 2024 Budget focuses on producing more highly skilled entrepreneurs through the implementation of various programmes such as Sabah Entrepreneur Enhancement Programme and PROTUNe,” he said.

Furthermore, he said the State Government, through the Department of Industrial Development and Research, will continue SME-UP Assistance Programme with an allocation of RM15 million.

“As of now, SME-UP Assistance Programme has successfully created more than five thousand Sabah SME entrepreneurs,” he said.

At the same time, programmes on enhancing the knowledge and skills of targeted groups and youths are also implemented through Human Capital Development Programme and Ko-Nelayan Entrepreneur Development Programme, with an allocation of RM6.99 million in year 2024.

“These programmes will benefit over 100 people, among artisanal fishermen, smallscale fisheries and aquaculture entrepreneurs. Assistance schemes are also provided to help this group to expand their business scale and enhance their productivity, output as well as income,” he said.

He also said the State Government, through the Sabah Ministry of Rural Development, also encourages rural entrepreneurs to manufacture local products such as gong makings, cornhusk flower, beadworks, as well as local food products.

“For this purpose, a total of RM2.41 million is allocated under the One District One Product Programme, Rural Entrepreneur Development as well as Rural Industry Programme,” he said.

Masidi also said shophouses development project will benefit local traders and entrepreneurs, thereby boosting the growth of the SME industry.

“Therefore, an allocation of RM8.9 million is provided for the construction and upgrading of shoplots and hotel on Bum-Bum Island in Semporna, shoplots in Kalabakan, Matunggong, Weston, as well as in Kampung Padas Damit, Beaufort,” he said.

In addition, the State Government will build four SME Product Centers or IKS Mart in Sandakan, Keningau, Kalabakan and Luyang following the success of IKS Mart in Beaufort, Tuaran, Kota Marudu, Ranau and Oceanus Mall Kota Kinabalu.

“This initiative will contribute to the development of the SME sector by providing a platform for local entrepreneurs to collect, promote and sell local products from various districts to boost sales and exports to neighboring countries,” he said.

In addition, to support the development of SME in Sabah, the State Government through Sabah Credit Corporation is considering a micro credit programme to support small rural entrepreneurs and businesses with a reasonable interest rate loan, he said.

“This programme is expected to benefit a total of 160 new entrepreneurs and existing small businesses.”

Source: Borneo Post