Sarawak aims to triple exports to achieve high income and advanced state by 2030

Abang Johari (seated centre) flanked by Uggah (left) and Masing (right) during the Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC) meeting today (June 25, 2020). Photo credit: Chief Minister’s Office

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, June 25: Sarawak is aiming to triple the volume of exports by 2030 to become a high-income and advanced state.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that Sarawak’s economy needs to ramp up its productivity and grow at a high single-digit growth rate in order to become a developed state by 2030.

“In order to achieve a high income and advanced state by 2030, we will need to grow at 8 per cent annually to double the size of our economy from RM133 billion in 2018 to RM282 billion.

“In addition, the focus will be on lifting existing productivity levels significantly across all sectors of the economy through the adoption of technology and innovation.

“We envisage our exports will increase (by) about three times.

“We will be less reliant on liquefied natural gas (LNG) export.

“Nonetheless, we will move up the value chain to produce high value-added petrochemical or finished goods,” he said in his text of speech when chairing the first Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC) meeting at Wisma Bapa Malaysia’s conference room here today.

Abang Johari added the focus of Sarawak’s economy is not only on growing productivity but also on how it can provide the benefit to every Sarawakian.

He stressed that the distribution of wealth to the people must be equitable.

Therefore, Abang Johari said the Sarawak government is working on increasing the average household income significantly from the current RM5,000 to RM16,000 per month by 2030.

With higher average household income, Abang Johari who is Finance and Economic Planning Minister believed the income gap between the low and high-income households will be improved in the future.

Abang Johari gathered that the low-income household percentage in Sarawak currently stood at 53 per cent.

Therefore, he pointed out that the situation will be addressed holistically.

He emphasised that the Sarawak government is targeting to reduce the low-income household percentage significantly with a target of less than 40 per cent.

Abang Johari said he wanted to see projects or initiatives in Sarawak become rakyat-centric.

Going forward, he believed every Sarawakian including the special needs community will be able to get access to social services.

By 2030, Abang Johari believed that Sarawak will be a thriving society driven by data and innovation whereby everyone enjoys economic prosperity, social inclusivity and a sustainable environment.

He asserted the vision for Sarawak’s economy is anchored on three pillars; economic prosperity, inclusive society and environmental sustainability.

At the same time, Abang Johari revealed that the SEAC will look into 14 economic sectors and form a cohesive robust strategy to guide Sarawak to become an advanced state by 2030.

Among those attending the SEAC meeting were Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Deputy Chief Minister II Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, Deputy Chief Minister III Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, cabinet ministers, State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion and SEAC members. —DayakDaily