KUCHING: The government will engage the private sector in coming up with a post-Covid-19 social economic policy, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.
He explained that among others, the policy is to promote food export by the state and to work out incentives for investors as well as to determine the scope of the cooperation between the government and the private sector.
“We will consult the private sector in pre-formulating this policy,” he said when visiting Thian Yien Enterprise Sdn Bhd, a local company specialising in the production of different kinds of sauces and restaurant food products.
The company exports its sauces to Asean countries and Hong Kong, and is also in the process of producing restaurant food products for sale in supermarkets.
Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, said the government would help thriving local companies to penetrate more international markets.
He said this was to bring to fruition the vision of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, for the state to be a net exporter of food and food products by the year 2030.
“When we can produce more food including for export, we can reduce our future import deficit which in 2018 stood at a hefty RM3.6 billion,” he said, adding that one of the big issues involved was deciding on the products which the state could produce.
Uggah noted that the state has big potential with plenty of land.
“We also enjoy this reputation for producing healthy food. In this business, this trust is a great asset,” he said, adding that one of the state’s potential was in inland fishery.
At the same time, he said Thian Yien Enterprise had expressed its interest in crawfish-rearing for export.
“We are working on how we can accommodate this interest for a win-win situation.”
He added that the company was an example of successful local entrepreneurs that could help the state modernise its agriculture sector, particularly to increase its export volume.
“I am very pleased with its performance,” he said.
During the visit, the company’s managing director Pooh Chee Ngee brought Uggah to see its production activities.
Also present were the ministry’s permanent secretary Edwin Abit and Sarawak Agriculture Department director Dr Alvin Chai, as well as Uggah’s wife Datin Amar Doreen Mayang.