KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government, committed to the development of the industrial sector, has identified various initiatives to bring industrial contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) from 7.3 percent in 2017 to 35 percent in 2030.
“The industrial sector is a proven sector capable of mobilizing economic growth as is happening in developed countries such as South Korea, Germany and Japan; where the industry contribution to GDP is 35 percent,” said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau.
Among the initiatives to be undertaken is to develop a new industrial park with a new business model that is conducive to investment, including ensuring reasonable land prices.
“We will also step up efforts to build better road networks, hopefully the construction of Pan Borneo roads would be accelerated, as well as providing adequate infrastructure and utilities such as water and electricity,” he said in reply to a question from Luyang assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe in the State Assembly yesterday.
The government will continue to develop the Digital Free Trade Zone, which has already obtained approval from the Federal Government, he added.
“The preparation of the new Industrial Master Plan to outline the Strategic Action Plan in order to make the coordination of the mechanism more robust in implementing the policy of industrialization of the government will also commence in the near future,” said Madius.
The Trade and Industry Minister added the ministry will further enhance its efforts to promote investment opportunities, especially in high value downstream activities particularly in the oil and gas downstream industry at SOGIP, the timber-based Furniture Hub in Sandakan and oil palm at POIC Lahad Datu.
Madius said that for 2014 -2017 (statistical data for 2018 has not yet been released) Sabah’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased from RM66.3 billion in 2014 to RM79.8 billion in 2017.
In terms of sector contribution to the GDP, the Sabah Statistics Yearbook 2017 reported that the largest contributor is the services sector at RM31.8 billion (39.9%), followed by mining and quarrying at RM24.9 billion (31.3%), agriculture at RM14.9 billion (18.7% ), while manufacturing is at RM5.8 billion (7.3%) and construction at RM1.9 billion (2.4%) for the year 2017.
In comparison to the national level, with a per capita income of RM23,979.00 (Malaysia: RM42,228.00) Sabah is ranked fourth from the bottom after Perlis, Kedah and Kelantan. Sabah also has the highest unemployment rate of 5.6% compared to the national rate of 3.4%.