KUCHING: Deputy Works Minister Dato Yong Khoon Seng believes the business environment is now right to set up new shopping malls in the emerging Samarahan division.
He said this was mainly due to the exemption of import taxes for over 300 items, as announced in the 2011 Budget by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, which will attract more people from foreign countries to shop in the state.
The other contributing factor, he stressed, is that Samarahan is is well-connected with good road network to the adjacent Kuching division and other parts of Sarawak.
“This (exemption of import taxes) will positively impact the growth of business opportunities. Consumers can purchase imported goods, especially branded goods, at lower prices. These will encourage tourists to shop here thereby stimulating other industries.
“Businesses in Kuching – Samarahan divisions will cater for influx of tourists from Indonesia, while Limbang and Miri will expect an influx of shoppers from Brunei. Businesses in other divisions will cater mostly local shoppers and some foreign tourists,” said Yong when launching a new shopping mall project here yesterday.
The project – Summer Shopping Mall – is a three storey commercial mall being developed along Jalan Dato Mohd Musa in Kota Samarahan and is adjacent to residential areas and institutions of learning there.
Developed by Tetap Majumas Sdn Bhd, it is set to be the first major shopping mall in Samarahan and scheduled to be opened by end of 2012.
Covering a space of 177m long and 95m wide, it will comprise an anchor tenant to occupy the hypermarket and departmental store from lower ground to first floor.
There will be over 220 retail shops, food court, an eight-screen cineplex, and basement and open space car parks.
Meanwhile, Tetap Majumas managing director Lee Chee Fui said Summer will be a landmark that will meet the needs of not just the existing population but also the growing and future populations in Kota Samarahan.
“Kuching city has more than 600,000 existing population and the nearby Samarahan division contains more than 300,000 population. Kota Samarahan has (also) began witnessing remarkable transformation into a City of Knowledge of Sarawak.
“There will be no doubt with current remarkable growth of population, mixed residential and commercial projects, Kota Samarahan will need a place that offers enhanced quality of working, lifestyle, entertainment and leisure, (that is) the Summer Shopping Mall,” he said.
Also present was Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Tan Joo Phoi.