KOTA KINABALU: Trade and Industries Department Director, Patrick Tan has suggested to a delegation of Chinese scholars to help turn the Sepanggar port here into a transshipment port.
Speaking to the delegates at Wisma Kewangan in an exchange group dialogue today, Tan said that the Sabah government aims to turn the Sepanggar port into a transshipment port and make it a cheaper destination for main-line shipping operators (MLO) to conduct their operations.
He said that presently Sabah has no direct shipment as her manufacturing sector is still at its infancy.
He also said that investors were not keen to come to Sabah to start their manufacturing activities due to its high shipping cost.
Tan also mentioned that the ministry in which his department is under, the Ministry of Trade and Industry wants to raise the manufacturing sector contribution to the Gross Domestic Product from the present seven (7) percent to 35 percent.
No time frame was given to achieve what Tan described as a ‘tall order’ but stated that this could be facilitated with the realization of the transshipment port.
The delegation of Chinese scholars who were present were Wang Yi Wei (Institute of International Affairs, Renmin University of China’s Director), Su Ziohui (Deputy Director, Department of International and Strategic Studies, China Institute of International Studies), Xu Liping (Director of Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), Hu Bo (Executive Director, Maritime Strategy Research Centre and Senior Researcher at Peking University), Zhang Sheping (Counselor, Department of Asian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China) and Luo Jingying (Attache, Depatment of Asian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China).
Also present were the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in KK, Consul Li AiLi and Vice-Consul Zhang Qi.
Also representing Sabah at the meeting were Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sabah Branch Chairman), Datuk Seri Panglima Wong Khen Thau, Federation of Sabah Industries President, Datuk Chong Hon Len, Industrial Development Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Tseu Kah Yue, International Trade and Industry Ministry’s Director, Rita Elisha, Matrade Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation Director, Rashid Mohd Zain and Malaysia Investment Development Authority Director, Habibah Enok.