Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030: Sarawak commits RM63 bln to double size of economy

Abang Johari (centre) together with (from right) Awang Tengah, Uggah, Jaul and Masing holding up the PCDS book following its launch today.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, July 22: The Sarawak government has committed RM63 billion to implement plans under the newly unveiled Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 that will double the size of its economy and get Sarawak back on track to becoming a developed and advanced State within ten years.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg pointed out that the huge investment will be done through creative financial modelling and revenue reengineering with RM30 billion to come from direct development expenditure and RM33 billion from alternative funding.

“Through this, we will continue to enjoy a healthy fiscal position.

“The first phase of the PCDS 2030 will be implemented under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) from 2021 to 2025. The target under the 12MP and PCDS 2021-2030 is for the economy to grow at an average of 6 per cent to 8 per cent per annum.

“Sarawak needs to double the size of the economy from RM136 billion in 2019 to RM282 billion in 2030,” he said when launching the PCDS 2030 in conjunction with Sarawak Day at a hotel here today.

Locking its target on 2030, Abang Johari emphasised that the State government has devised the plan to make Sarawak a thriving society driven by data and innovation where everyone enjoys economic prosperity, social inclusivity and sustainable environment.

“Our policy is comprehensive and inclusive where all sectors of society, economy and industry will be involved and benefitted from the implementations.

“Everyone must be proactive and visionary on how we want to develop our State,” he said.

The PCDS 2030 highlights seven strategic thrusts to accelerate economic growth by transforming the economic structure to become more competitive, improving ease of doing business, spending on areas that yield the most economic, social and environmental impacts, optimising use of assets and human capital, accelerating digital adoption and execution, driving economic and social benefits for all Sarawakians and balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability.

The strategic plans are anchored by six economic sectors as the main engines of growth namely manufacturing, commercial agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining and social services which is reinforced by seven enablers of digital transformation, innovation, basic infrastructure, transport, utilities, renewable energy as well as education and human capital development.

“The development of six economic sectors which are supported by seven enablers will position Sarawak as an attractive investment destination.

“This will increase the value and quality of investment in Sarawak. The value from private investment to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will increase from RM21.0 billion in 2020 to RM61.5 billion in 2030 or an increase of 11.2 per cent per annum. The share of private investment to GDP in 2030 will be 21.9 per cent.

“Through quality investment, Sarawak will shift its economic structure with higher contributions from the services and manufacturing sector by 2030.

“The services sector’s contribution to Sarawak GDP will increase from 34.7 per cent in 2020 to 38.9 per cent in 2030 while the manufacturing sector’s contribution will increase from 26.8 per cent in 2020 to 29.0 per cent in 2030,” he said.

At the same time, Abang Johari added that Sarawak will continue to develop and modernise the primary sector to increase productivity to support the high value manufacturing activities such as oleochemical, food processing, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, hydrogen and metal-based products to complement the growth in the services sector such as transport and logistic, financial and legal services as well as design and creative services.

“This will provide the foundation for us to leapfrog into the second phase of PCDS 2030 development, which is driven by talent, skills and innovation.

“This plan is really to ensure that the State and its people prosper, and to protect its environment for sustainable development.

“We want Sarawak to recover from this pandemic with a stronger and more resilient economy and to sustain the level of economic and social development.

“This is to assure future generations of Sarawakians a happy, peaceful and prosperous State with opportunities for all, regardless of their racial, cultural or religious backgrounds or the regions in the State they are from,” he emphasised.

Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Tan Sri Dr James Masing Jemut and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan as well as State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, federal ministers and assistant ministers were among those present. — DayakDaily