Thursday, August 22

Sabah land of investment opportunities

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Ong Kian Ming

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s many resources makes it a land of opportunities for investments in new industrial growth areas, said Deputy International, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming Minister.

Ong said every Malaysian region is unique in its comparative and competitive advantages, but Sabah has an abundance of natural and agricultural resources making it a good base for industrial development.

“Building on these strengths, there are many untapped opportunities for resource-based manufacturing facilities, particularly in moving downstream and producing high quality goods and services. Having the upstream and downstream industry players in close proximity improves speed and cost of production,” said Ong when launching the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Industrial Park Forum at Marriot Hotel here yesterday.

“For Sabah to attract the type of quality investments that we desire, the state needs good industrial parks that can meet the requirements of these industries. It is important to find win-win solutions, and not to keep investors waiting for infrastructure to be built especially in the provision of electricity, water and roads, as these are the basic infrastructure needs for any industry to operate.

“I urge technical agencies and utility providers such as Telekom Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional Berhad and Gas Malaysia to come on board and be proactive supporting investors in these areas,” he added.

Ong pointed out that as at December 2017, a total of 761 manufacturing projects with investments worth RM15.1 billion have been implemented in Sabah.

“More than 90,000 jobs have been created from these projects particularly in the food manufacturing, paper, printing and publishing, wood and wood products, chemical and chemical products, and non-metallic mineral products sectors,” he said.

“For the first nine months of 2018, Sabah continues to attract additional approved investments of RM140.9 million, mainly in basic metal products, food manufacturing. petroleum products including petrochemicals and non-metallic mineral products,” he added during his keynote address here yesterday.

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) collaborated with the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and Sabah state authorities to organize the fourth and last installation of the industrial park forum series in Sabah here yesterday.

“Sabah is certainly one of Malaysia’s destinations for investment. Following our Invest Sabah briefing held at the MIDA headquarters in October, we have received encouraging interest. Tomorrow, there will be 12 eager investors from nine companies flying into Sabah to explore for themselves the opportunities available in the areas of Oil & Gas, Logistics Engineering Services, Infrastructure Development and Consulting Services, for their expansion plans,” said MIDA senior executive director Zabidi Mahbar.

The Industrial Park and Investment Facilitation Forum was well attended by over 250 participants from various fields, including business chambers, local authorities, park developers and managers, utility companies, manufacturers and potential investors.

The forum featured two panel discussions that focused on the industrial park ecosystem and investment facilitation.

The first panel session involved sharings from three Sabah industrial park developers namely the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park, POIC Sabah and Sabah Oil & Gas Development Corporationas well as representatives from the Eastern Sabah Security Command, RWDC Industries Asia Pacific and OFO Tech.

The session was moderated by Datuk Chong Hon Len, president of the Federation of Sabah Industries.

Meanwhile, the second session was moderated by Datuk Dr Mohd Yaakub Haji Johari, Chief Executive of the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority and featured representatives from the International, Trade and Industry Ministry, MIDA, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Bhd, SIRIM and Malaysian Industrial Development Finance.