Friday, December 6

‘Sarawak can become high income state by 2030 only’

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KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem believes it is not possible for the state to achieve a high income status by 2020.

For Sarawak to achieve a high income status by 2020, the state needs to grow at 8.5 per cent in real gross domestic product (GDP). With this growth rate, the real gross national income (GNI) per capita by the year 2020 should be RM50,600, which is just about RM1,100 above the World’s Bank’s definition of a high income nation.

“However, this growth scenario is not possible, taking into consideration the uncertainties in both the global and national economies,” he told the State Legislative Assembly yesterday.

Adenan said the recent formulation of a long-term development plan, dubbed the Sarawak Socio-Economic Transformation Plan (SETP), will only transform the state into a high income status state by 2030.

“Under SETP, the state is projected to grow at 6.5 per cent per annum to achieve a high income status by the year 2030. This is far more realistic, as compared to the 8.5 per cent growth per annum that we need to have to achieve a high income status by year 2020.

“With a projected growth of 6.5 per cent per annum, the nominal GNI per capita by the year 2020 is RM44,100, which is still below the World Bank’s definition of a high income nation. However, by 2030, the nominal GNI per capita will reach RM82,600, exceeding the minimum threshold of a high income nation of RM79,000 by 2030.”

SETP, Adenan added, was a comprehensive, integrated, and balanced plan. It is aimed to accelerate income growth and reduce income disparity. The plan covers all sectors of the economy and outlines various strategies, action plans, and budgets to enable the state to catch up with the rest in the peninsula.

“SETP is our catch up plan, where it covers a period of 15 years, from 2016 to 2030. It will be carried out in phases.

“The first phase from 2016 until 2020 is critical. It will be implemented under the 11th Malaysian Plan. Under SETP, a total allocation of about RM180 billion is required to transform the state from all perspectives.”

In formulating SETP, he said his administration had taken a new approach, whereby this is the first time they engaged with various stakeholders and interest groups to get their feedback and suggestions on how to develop a better future for Sarawak.

“In doing so, numerous labs and dialogues were held in order to better understand the problems, issues and needs of these various groups.”