‘Sarawak always welcomes foreign investments’


KUCHING: Sarawak is always prepared to accommodate legitimate foreign investors who wish to expand their businesses to the state.

In fact, from the very beginning the governments of Sarawak and Malaysia had always been business-friendly, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem pointed out.

“Indeed, we encourage foreign investment in our country and state. This has been a consistent policy for us since the 1950s from import substitution to industrialisation until now.

“And our business-friendly policy has brought us from success to success. We have seen Japanese investment, Korean investment, British investment and American investment.

“And indeed we have been on friendly terms with these foreign investors,” he said in his keynote address at the 3rd Sarawak Business and Investment Summit here yesterday.

Saying the state and country had survived the ups and downs of the world economy, he, however, acknowledged that right now everything looked very bleak, citing the fall in prices of oil and commodities.

“But one encouraging light at the end of the tunnel is we are seeing an increase in foreign investment in Sarawak.

“Provision of cheap energy and plenty of land is what we can offer. With the completion of the Murum dam, plus Bakun and Batang Ai dams plus later on the other dams, we are able to produce cheap electricity.

“That is one of our attractions for foreign investment,” he said.

Citing Samalaju Industrial Park as an example, he said it had attracted some foreign companies, which saw Sarawak benefitting from employment and the ability to provide skilled manpower.

With the state taking the industrialisation path, he said its emphasis now was on technical education to meet the demands from the industries.

“We have started in that area. Nowadays, we noticed that if you are technically competent you can easily get jobs in the industry,” he said.

In welcoming foreign companies to invest in Sarawak, he assured that the state provided good accommodation, an environment conducive for business and comparatively cheap energy.

Touching on employment, the Chief Minister said the actual figures indicated that there was over-employment in Malaysia including in Sarawak.

He said there was unemployment because Malaysians were very choosy and not prepared to take up jobs in the plantation and construction sectors which made them resort to foreign labour.

“If we look at the actual figure, in fact we have over-employment in the country which indicates the success of our policy,” he said.