– by Jaythaleela K
MIRI, Oct 10: The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) will help Sarawak explore new growth areas in manufacturing in Sibu and Miri.
Its deputy minister, Dr Ong Kian Ming, said, “Sarawak has been left out of the conversation on development for a long time. That is why I decided to visit and bring the agencies along to discuss with the businesses and stakeholders.”
He said this to reporters here today after attending an outreach programme at Pullman Waterfront Hotel. Also present was Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon, Sarawak DAP secretary Alan Ling and officials from Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) and Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad (MIDF).
Ong’s visit to Sibu, Miri and Bintulu is a follow-up to a working visit to the state by his minister, Datuk Darell Leiking, on Sept 21.
On his visit to Bintulu yesterday, Ong said he visited Bintulu Port and Samalaju Industrial Park.
“Samalaju Industrial Park continues to receive interest from investors. I’ve been informed of some of the challenges there, such as the need to step up Bintulu Port’s capacity and the lack of services in the area,” he said.
Ong noted that these challenges stemmed from growth in the park, adding that “these challenges are all also opportunities for local businesses to open up services to cater to the growing population in Samalaju”.
On another matter, he said Sarawak attracted high foreign direct investment (FDI) and domestic direct investment last year, securing third placing after Penang and Johor.
“In 2017, Sarawak attracted RM10.5 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) and domestic direct investment,” he pointed out.
More than 200 people attended the outreach programme, including business associations and entrepreneurs. It formed part of MITI’s ongoing effort to educate the business community about its policies, promotional activities and the incentives available.
There was also a question-and-answer session, where Ong and officers from agencies under Miti answered concerns raised by the attendees. — DayakDaily