KUALA LUMPUR: The Sabah Government is to spend RM2.37 billion in two years for infrastructure development and oil palm cultivation in the Sabah Development Corridor, a senior state government official said yesterday.Permanent Secretary to the State Industrial Development Ministry Datuk Ismail Abdullah said tenders have been called for some of the projects.He said the state government intends to spend over RM600 million in the next two years in the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster.“Everything is on track,” he told reporters after a half-day seminar on investment opportunities in Sabah.
State Industrial Development Minister Datuk Ewon Ebin said the state government targeted agriculture, tourism and manufacturing to spearhead the state economic development.
He said the state government would be directly involved in programmes related to the One District, One Industry concept, biomass industry and oil and gas industry in the Sabah Development Corridor.“A total of RM28.5 million has been allocated for the purpose under the Ninth Malaysia Plan,” he said in his keynote address.
Under the Mid-Term Review of the Ninth Plan, Ewon said the federal government sanctioned RM10 million loan for small-and medium-scale entrepreneurs operating at the Kimanis Industrial Estate and RM44 million for the Integrated Petrochemical Complex.Last year, 56 manufacturing projects were approved for the state, with proposed investments totalling RM1.09 billion and providing 2,868 jobs, he said.
Of the projects approved, domestic investments totalled RM697.52 million while foreign capital amounted to RM200.35 million and others RM191.82 million, he said, adding that the state government was working to woo more foreign direct investments to rejuvenate the state economy.Despite sound policies and insulated economy, he said the state manufacturing sector was not completely cocooned from global shocks.“In light of global developments, the sector has to face challenges such as rising production cost, growing uncertainties due to market volatility, unpredictable trade practices and increasing protectionist measures,” he said.
Ewon said Sabah aimed to woo world-class companies to accelerate growth of resource-based manufacturing industries.“The manufacturing sector’s focus is to leverage on its natural endowment such as palm oil, biomass and oil and gas.“A competitive incentive package will be continuously provided to attract foreign and private sector investments in the promoted sectors, including manufacturing,” he added.
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