CM: We need to align ourselves with global digital economy

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: The state government will have to accelerate and support investments in technology and digitalisation to align the state’s economy with the global digital economy, Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari bin Tun Abang Openg said today.

“Thus, our focus has to be on strengthening relevant technologies and infrastructure for e-commerce capabilities, and to transform and position human resource and industry players to be digital economy ready,” he told a business excellence seminar and forum here.

Abang Johari said from a strategy perspective, it is crucial for Sarawak to master the challenges brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is resulting in innovations through the merging of the physical, digital and biological worlds.

“We need to optimize our business capabilities and process in order to boldly lead Sarawak into the future we envisaged for our people, by collaborating through the sharing of our collective knowledge and participating in strategic partnership,” he stressed.

He said to leapfrog into the future envisioned, the state need to provide its young talent with the environment and the basic infrastructure very much needed to harness their capabilities.

He said the state government is resolute in its commitment to become a developed economy in not too distant a future.

“Sarawak has a considerable reserve of oil and gas and we have formed our own Sarawak Petroleum Company (PETROS) to participate actively alongside PETRONAS in the oil and gas industry.

“We are no longer content as mere spectator in the oil and gas industry.

“We have also formed our own development bank called the Development Bank of Sarawak or DBOS to enable us to engage in strategic projects to drive the economy and speed up development.

“I am happy to say again that we have gained ownership of the Bakun Hydro Dam from the Federal Government for a fair sum of RM2.5 billion. This should allow us to consolidate our power production which is crucial for the smooth implementation of energy-intensive industries under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) programme,” he said.

He also urged Sarawak Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to make their businesses more competitive and accessible globally by digitalising their business models and processes.

The chief minister said that the majority of entrepreneurs in Sarawak are SMEs, saying that there are 60,773 SMEs in Sarawak which represent the economic backbone of the state, and significant provider of employment for the people of Sarawak.

“Large numbers of the SMEs spread out over the vast state of Sarawak ensuring that they play an important role in the state’s inclusive development strategy and social uplifting of our people,” ge added.

He suggested that SME entrepreneurs need to be proactive, creative and innovative in expanding their business and product outreach.

“Most importantly, bearing in mind the Digital Age we live in and our Digital Sarawak aspiration, they have to effectively adopt and exploit technology to create a digital advantage for themselves in order to be competitive in today’s challenging business environment,” the chief minister said. – dayakdaily.com