KUCHING: The state government is committed to working with the member countries in BIMP-EAGA on realising socio-economic development objectives, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
One such example, Abang Johari said, was the BIMP-EAGA’s (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area) proposed Trans Borneo Interconnection Power Grid.
“The power sector is one of the strengths of Sarawak, and we are in a good position to complement the BIMP-EAGA’s proposed Trans Borneo Interconnection Power Grid.
“We will continue with the Sarawak-West Kalimantan Interconnection Project, and at the same discuss with Brunei Darussalam on the Sarawak-Brunei Interconnection Project,” Abang Johari said in his speech during the BIMP-EAGA Budayaw Festival Gala Dinner on Saturday night.
His text-of-speech was read by Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.
Abang Johari also noted BIMP-EAGA’s aspiration to be the food basket in Asean and the rest of the world, adding that the state was implementing specific strategies for modernising and commercialising agriculture.
“Sarawak is currently focusing on the modernisation and commercialisation of agriculture to improve productivity and to increase the income level of our farmers.
“The government is implementing specific strategies to strengthen the agriculture supply chain through utilisation of modern technology, strengthening agriculture research and development, upgrading the logistic infrastructures and setting up of collection, processing and packaging centres,” he stated.
In line with Sarawak’s aspiration to become a developed state by 2030, Abang Johari also alluded to the state’s focus on the development of key economic sectors to accelerate the state’s socioeconomic growth.
“I am sure that there are many areas that Sarawak could work closely with other stakeholders of BIMP-EAGA. The private sector is the engine of growth for BIMP-EAGA, and we welcome active participation of private sectors to spearhead the economic development of BIMP-EAGA.
“I am happy to note that BIMP-EAGA has an established BIMP-EAGA Business Council, or BEBC, that coordinates the private sectors’ participation in BIMP-EAGA. Thus, I would like to urge BEBC to work closely with private sectors from Sarawak, including the Sarawak Business Federation, Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dewan Usahawan Bumiputera Sarawak and the Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” Abang Johari said.
To continue working closely through the BIMP-EAGA platform, Abang Johari said that the state government would continue to provide institutional support as well as complement various initiatives undertaken through BIMP-EAGA.
Also present was Economic Affairs Ministry secretary-general Datuk Saiful Anuar Lebai Hussen.