Post-Covid-19: Sarawak Economic Action Council to set planning, direction for nine major sectors

Abang Johari addressing members oof the media at a special press conference on Sarawak's post-Covid-19 Exit Economic Strategy.

KUCHING, May 6: The Sarawak Economic Action Council has been formed to study and formulate action plans for nine main sectors to achieve the state’s economic agenda to thrive in the ‘new normal’ era.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced today that in moving forward post-Covid-19, Sarawak will anchor on two core principles, which are digital economy and environmental sustainability, in developing its economic, social and governance sectors.

The ten main sectors identified in Sarawak’s ‘Post-Covid-19 Exit Economic Strategy Up to 2030’ plan are commercial agriculture; manufacturing; mining; industrial forest plantation; education and human capital developments; renewable energy; data centre and innovations; services; and tourism.

“We have reviewed our development strategies under the 12th Malaysia Plan to recover from severe economic impact due to Covid-19 so as to remain resilient, adapting to a ‘new normal’ and promoting future economic growth and development,” he told a special press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia today.

In light of the above post-Covid-19 exit development agenda, he emphasised that it was therefore pertinent for the state to get the views of stakeholders (i.e. chambers of commerce, professionals and academics) to deliberate in detail the needs of the various sectors in order to formulate action plans for achieving the new economic agenda for Sarawak.

“The council will study the details of the propositions (which have been listed out) that are to be submitted to the government by September 2020,” he said.

To enhance Sarawak’s economic productivity and competitiveness, Abang Johari pointed out that the state will intensify its Digital Economy Agenda across all sectors of Sarawak’s economy.

“In 2030, our major economic sector will be fully developed based on these two core principles — digital economy and environmental sustainability.

“Hence data centres play a pivotal role in driving innovation in the digital application sphere.

“A sustainable environment will feature prominently in our future development plan. We will ensure that Sarawak achieves a clean, healthy, and resilient environment for the current and future generations,” he added.

Observing that the Covid-19 health crisis has left severe impact on economic activities worldwide, he noted that the global economy is projected to contract sharply by negative three per cent in 2020, much worse than during the 2008 financial crisis.

Malaysia, he emphasised, will not be spared from this downturn and is projected to grow between negative two per cent to 0.5 per cent in 2020, affected by weak global demand, disruption of supply chains and containment measures both abroad and domestic.

“The impact brought by the pandemic has resulted in the creation and emergence of ‘new norms’ globally and we would not be able to do ‘business as usual’ anymore.

“This is the scenario that we have never experienced before and would require us to exercise new ways of doing things now and in the future,” he said. — DayakDaily