Tun M’s China trip brings investment to Sabah


Nip (right) greeting Tun Mahathir on arrival in China together with Minister of International Trade and Industry Darell Leiking (not in photo).

TAWAU: The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) will be bringing in promising multi-billion dollars of investment to the state after a trip to China together with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

MIDA director John Nip said the trip ended with a high note promising three major investments in three sectors that might assist in the country’s economy.

He said the three sectors included the setting up of two factories to enhance the value of local products, medical tourism and green energy generation.

The trip was very fruitful, especially for the state of Sabah as MIDA discussed with its counterparts in China over what both countries could achieve by working together, he said upon returning from the official visit.

Nip said MIDA was committed in complementing the government’s effort to enhance the country’s economic situation and Tun Mahathir is a leader respected by both China’s leaders and business communities and resulted in the successful endeavour.

He said their discussion yielded a working plan to set up two factories each on the state’s West and East coast, bringing in China’a technology to add value to local products such as ‘tongkat Ali’, bird’s nest, seafood and ‘Durian King’ through processing and packing for foreign market, especially China.

He said MIDA had identified what China wanted and would be joining venture with their business entities to tap into the market which would benefit both parties.

Nip said the concept was to get local producers to deliver their products to these factories where they would be enhanced in quality and packed without going through middlemen.

He said MIDA would look for market in China for a small fee and producers would get a higher value for their products.

He said this agreement would go in line with Sabah Chief Minister’s vision for downstream industries benefiting Sabahans as local products were refined in the state instead of exporting raw materials which decreased the value.

Nip said Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal’s directive to ban export of logs in the state was an example to keep local resources within for furniture factories or other products where add-on value can be obtained and provide more job opportunities through the setting up of downstream industries.

He said machines meant for these factories, one each in Penampang and in Tawau, were already en-route to the country in stages.

On medical tourism, he said it was another avenue planned which would be unique to the state by utilizing local resources in a package deal.

Nip explained that the term medical tourism in the state meant that they provide medical facilities to tourists who require ongoing medical attention when they are away on holiday.

An example, he said, were dialysis machines at specific locations for those requiring daily sessions just to get by and this would enable people with such medical needs to visit Sabah and get their medical needs attended to while holidaying.

He said Sabah still has good quality air and together with healthy food, the state is an ideal position to promote such tourism.

“Wellness tourism is worth billions of dollars and Sabah with China can tap into the potential market,” he said.
Touching on healthy food, he said organic farm for vegetables and fish farm feed with organic food were being achieved in the state.

As Sabah has all the attributes, healthy food and environment, beautiful attractions such as the many islands, Mount Kinabalu and plenty of other sites to attract tourists which had already been identified, they only need to enhance their medical facilities to complete the set-up, he said.

The last sector which is the green energy production will see Sabah aiming to become a green energy producer with investment from China.

He said they had discussed the matter with their China counterparts and they agreed to invest into our green technology utilizing solar, wind, biomass and hydro as fuel to generate power.

Nip said the cost of establishing green technology was cheaper and can assure environment would not be harmed.
The technology can produce half the cost per kilowatt compared to 60 sen per kilowatt that was proposed to be carried out by the previous government through gas channeling project.