Sarawak attracts total investment of RM23.17 billion for 117 projects

File photo depicting an aerial view of the heavy and energy intensive industry set up in Samalaju.

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By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, May 26: Sarawak managed to attract a total investment of RM23.17 billion for 117 projects, with RM16.08 billion approved in 2020 and RM7.09 billion in 2021, despite the challenging global situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

According to Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, these investments are expected to create more than 11,000 employment opportunities.

“The major projects approved under the Industrial Coordination Act 1975 (ICA) in 2020 and 2021 are as follows: Basic Metal Products (RM13.8 billion for high grade steel in 2020), Electrical & Electronic Products (RM4.2 billion for chip capacitor in 2021), and Chemicals & Chemical Products (RM1.4 billion for polycrystalline silicon and industrial gas in 2021).

“Meanwhile, the major projects approved under the State Industrial Coordination Committee (ICC) in 2020 and 2021 are as follows: Renewable Energy Product (RM250 million for biomass and biogas for power generation in 2020), Basic Metal Products (RM938 million for copper foil, building material, and furniture in 2021), Services (RM93 million for logistic and warehousing in 2021), and Non-Metallic Mineral Product (RM86 million for precast concrete in 2021),” he stated today in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here.

He went on to say that in 2022, the State has approved two new expansion projects in Sama Jaya worth RM2.1 billion for electric & electrical products (solar ingots & wafer and substrates for hard disk drive), and those companies have already commenced the construction works.

“In addition, the State ICC has also approved 16 projects worth RM75 million in Beverage Products (bottled drinking water), Services (logistics and warehousing), Wood and Wood-Based Products (furniture, building materials, charcoal, and sawn timber), Basic Metal Products (steel products) and others.

“These investments are expected to create more than 2,100 employment opportunities in the State,” he said.

Awang Tengah, who is also the International Trade, Industry, and Investment Minister, mentioned that the investors have remained confident in Sarawak’s political leadership for managing Sarawak’s economy well, even during these difficult times.

“Initial efforts to minimise the disruption to the essential economic sectors have proven to be effective and these sectors were able to weather the various impediments caused by the lockdowns and restrictions,” he explained.

He added that for instance in 2021, the high-tech industries in Sama Jaya, employed a total of 14,600 workforce (in 2020 was 13,700) with total wages paid amounting to RM684 million (in 2020 was RM598 million), generating RM607 million (in 2020 was RM667 million) in spin-offs to the local economy.

The total exports recorded at this high-tech park for 2021 was RM7.02 billion (in 2020 was RM6.93 billion), as per Awang Tengah.

Furthermore, he clarified that the energy intensive industries in Samalaju employed a total workforce of 7,800 in 2021 (in 2020 was 6,600) with total wages paid amounting to RM425 million (in 2020 was RM342 million), generating RM4.6 billion (in 2020 was RM4.05 billion) in spin-offs to the local economy, and in 2021, Samalaju Industrial Park recorded total exports of RM13.9 billion (in 2020 was RM9.4 billion).

“Under the 12th Malaysia Plan, the Ministry of International Trade, Industry and Investment (Mintred) has been approved a total ceiling of RM230.4 million to develop 23 Industrial Park projects, 22 Anjung Usahawan, and 3 Processing Centres, and the status of the projects are, two projects have been completed which are the Kapit Light Industrial Area (completed except access road) and Demak Laut Industrial Park Phase 2B.

“There are 13 projects are under various stages of construction, which are Industrial Parks in Bau, Sematan, Sri Aman, Betong, Sibu, Rantau Panjang Industrial Park Phase 2 and Samalaju SME Cluster and Anjung Usahawan in Sematan, Telok Melano, Gedong, Lawas, Sundar and Kuala Lawas.

“33 projects are under various stages of pre-construction such as site identification, siting application and design stage comprising 14 Industrial Parks in Kuching, Sebuyau, Meradong, Dalat, Song, Marudi, Long Lama, Limbang and Lawas, 16 Anjung Usahawan in Simunjan, Lubok Antu, Debak, Kampung Bungin, Kabong, Pakan, Meradong, Dalat, Daro, Balingian, Song, Bekenu, Beraya, Long Lama, Limbang and Trusan, and 3 Processing Centres at Punang and Awat-Awat,” he said. — DayakDaily