By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, June 10: Sarawak’s ability to attract RM20.8 billion in investment is proof that it has the capability to venture into the oil and gas industry, said Datuk Patiggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
With this capability, the chief minister is confident the state would be able to attain developed status by 2030.
“In tandem with Sarawak’s oil and gas policy, we welcome the active participation of the private sector in the development of the state’s oil and gas sector.
“Today’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing is an auspicious step towards expanding our capacity and capability in the oil and gas sector, instead of being a mere spectator and waiting for ‘handouts’,” he said at the event, where the MoU was signed between the Sarawak government, Beijing Beca Sci-Tech Co. Ltd and Sinopec Engineering Incorporation here today.
He also assured investors that his administration would continue with its business-friendly policies and create a more conducive environment to attract more high-value and high-tech investments.
“At the same time, I would like to urge Sarawakians, especially the small-medium enterprises (SMEs), to keep abreast with the latest efforts by the government so that you are aware of the opportunities made available by these initiatives and may benefit from them,” he advised.
On the MoU, Abang Johari said it showed Sarawak’s standing as a preferred destination in the country and region.
“It’s always good to know that investors such as Beijing Beca Sci-Tech Co. Ltd and Sinopec Engineering Incorporation have chosen Sarawak as an investment location for your project. This clearly reflects Sarawak’s standing as a preferred investment destination among the many possible locations within Malaysia and the region.
“Investors do not simply come with their money to invest. Before they come, they must have studied the strength and potential of our economy and other non-economic factors like political and social stability.
“With a clear economic policy direction and a big reserve, Sarawak has a strong financial standing, and I do believe these are the factors that have prompted Beca and Sinopec to consider investing in Sarawak,” he said.
The chief minister was also confident that the increase in public spending within these two years to build its physical and digital infrastructure would further enhance Sarawak’s economic growth to about 6 per cent.
“Sarawak’s economy needs to grow by at least 6 per cent annually in order to be able to attain the status of a developed economy by 2030,” he reiterated.
Abang Johari also disclosed that the RM3.8 billion income from the 5 per cent sales tax from oil and gas products would be used to develop infrastructure for the benefit of the people, especially in the rural areas. — DayakDaily