SBF calls for appointment of qualified GOC representatives

Abang Johari (second left) listens to an exhibitor at SIBEC 2018 while Ting (second right) looks on. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: The Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) urged the Sarawak government to appoint qualified private sector representatives in government-owned companies (GOCs) and other plain bodies to enhance the collaboration of both sectors to achieve the state government’s vision 2030.

“All too often, policy makers only pay lipservice to the involvement of the private sector in the planning and execution phase of its strategic plans.

“We at SBF, urge the government to appoint qualified private sector representatives to all plain bodies and GOCs in the state to work closely with the government in its drive towards vision 2030 through the industrial revolution 4.0,” said SBF deputy president Datuk Phillip Ting in his welcome address at the Sarawak International Business Exhibition and Conference (SIBEC) 2018, yesterday.

Ting, who is also the organising chairman of SIBEC 2018, further highlighted: “The vision of the Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg which we, in the business community, whole-heartedly and enthusiastically support as we do know that that is the future of the state and of the nation, and for that matter, the whole world.”

Hence, in line with the Chief Minister’s vision, he pointed out that SIBEC, which will be held bi-annually, aims to align the business community’s interest with that of the state government’s vision to make Sarawak a high-income and developed state by 2030 through the industrial revolution 4.0.

He viewed that digital technology not only drives businesses but everything else in the foreseeable future.

Themed ‘Digital Technology Drives Business’, SIBEC objectives include promoting business and investments to support the transformation of Sarawak’s digital economy and to showcase the promotion of digital technology in Sarawak.

Ting also pointed out that SIBEC opens opportunities with the movers and shakers of the business community in the state.

“SBF members employ in excess 80 per cent of the private sector employees in the state and we contribute an excess of 80 per cent the private sector’s GDP in the state. We hope that through events like this we could network amongst ourselves to improve our competitiveness in the global environment,” he added.

Aside from that, he noted that SIBEC also opens opportunities for the young as it has many programmes targeted at opening doors for young entrepreneurs via its members from the Sarawak Entrepreneurs Association and Sarawak eCommerce Association.

Meanwhile, at SIBEC’s first dialogue session earlier yesterday, Sarawak Multimedia Authority’s general manager Dr Zaidi Razak pointed out that there are several anchor sectors in Sarawak’s digital economy with vast opportunities for the business community to play a supporting and leading role in.

These include the agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, smart city, digital health, eCommerce and digital government sectors.

“Within this economic sectors are the areas that we hope the business community can take note and join in as well as commit in developing digital technology solutions be it, independently or in partnership with global players and with the state.

“The overall policy of SMA in these sectors is to encourage competition and an open market so the cost of building our digital economy will be relatively lower than we have experienced before.

“This increase in efficiency and competitiveness of our digital economy can allow the participation of qualified players into the digital market,” he added.

The two-day SIBEC 2018 event was launched by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg. Also present during the launch were SBF’s president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg and Deputy State Secretary Datuk Dr Sabariah Putit.

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