RM3. 6 billion invested in manufacturing, says Musa
Sabah has in the past two years attracted commendable investments in the manufacturing sector, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said. In 2007, the State Government ‘ approved and recommended 66 manufacturing projects for the State, including both the State Government Approval and the Federal Manufacturing Licence. Musa added that the total capital ° investment from these projects amounted to RM3. 6 billion of which RM1.2 billion was from domestic sources while RM2.4 billion came from foreign direct investment (EDT). He said this when launching the Sabah Investment and Trade Dialogue and Seminar on the Manufacturing and Services Sectors here yesterday. According to Musa, of the projects approved, the food manufacturing sub-sector accounted for the largest, with 17 approvals and a total investment of RM274. 9 million, followed by the chemical products sub-sector with eight approvals and a total investment of RM526.3 million. Electrical and electronic products and the furniture sub-sectors accounted for six projects each with investment of RM174. 2 million and RM2O. 1 million respectively, he said, adding five projects each were approved or recommended for approvalin basic and fabricated metal products (RM258.2 million), transportation products (RM88. 8 million) and wood products (RM240. 7 million). Musa disclosed that there were three approvals each for plastic products and non-metalic items which raked in investments of RM16.4 million and RM68.4 million respectively. Some RM50.4 million was invested in two rubber products manufacturing ventures and another RMO. 57 million on the beverage sub- sector, he said. “In terms of capital investment, the paper products sub-sector accounted for the highest amount at RM 1.9 billion. Our records also show that from January to June 2008, the State Government approved or recommended for approval another 21 manufacturing projects with total investment of RM602.6 million,” he pointed out. The Government, he said, will continue to make every effort possible to address issues and problems affecting the State’s industrial sector to make business and investment more conducive in Sabah. In view of this, a newly set up task force to address industry issues in Sabah will identify and propose solutions to issues that hinder industrial development and trade in the State, he added. He also said the vision for the State’s manufacturing sector under the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) blueprint is to turn Sabah into the location of choice in Asia for resource- based manufacturing by 2025. “To achieve this vision, the SDC blueprint has outlined a number of programmes spanning over three phases to stimulate growth of existing industries and attract private sector investment in targeted areas,” he said, adding that the first phase will focus on fixing gaps in infrastructure, investing in human capital and putting in place pro- business as well as pragmatic incentives to make it attractive enough for companies to shift to higher value-added activities in Sabah. The second phase will be on developing SMEs by giving these businesses incentives to conduct research and development, designs and technology transfer activities, he said and added that emphasis will be placed on creating local inte1lectual properties within the resource-based domain as a strong SME will serve as a platform for Sabah to source for quality investments in global resource-based manufacturing businesses. “As we eventually enter the third phase, the manufacturing sector is expected to be a key contributor to Sabah’s GDP, creating. high value employment and supporting a vibrant manufacturing base. By 2025, Sabah’s sophistication in terms of mix skill base, companies and linkages to key affluent markets in North Asia will make it the preferred location for investment in resource based manufacturing,” he said. According to Musa further, Sabah’s manufacturing focus will leverage on oil palm, rubber, cocoa, oil and gas, minerals, biodiversity and other resources. To attract investment, the State Government, he said, would keep on upgrading infrastructure, invest in human capital, reduce costs of doing business and lure anchor world-class companies to move into higher value-added processing of natural products. In addition, he pointed out the Federal Government has provided special investment incentives for Sabah to promote activities in the manufacturing, agriculture and tourism sectors.