By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Nov 18: Since the inception of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) in 2008, the state has recorded an average economic growth of 3.2 per cent annually.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) in 2008 was RM86.9 billion and is forecast to be RM145.2 billion this year.
“Our nominal GDP per capita in 2008 stood at RM36,075 and is RM51,925 in 2018. SCORE has contributed significantly to the economic performance of the state, especially through its public and private investments.
“As I mentioned during my Budget Speech 2019, the state economy is estimated to grow at 4.6 per cent for 2018 and 5 per cent for 2019, despite the challenges faced in the national and global economies,” he said at SCORE’s 10th anniversary dinner at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here on Saturday.
He added that the manufacturing sector was estimated to grow by 3.5 per cent this year, acknowledging that the industries in Samalaju Industrial Park had contributed significantly to the growth of the manufacturing sector in the state.
With the setting up of more industries and the expansion of existing industries, investments in Samalaju Industrial Park would continue to play a significant role to boost the growth and development of the state’s manufacturing sector.
Another Score sector that recorded growth was the construction sector, which is expected to remain strong at 5.2 per cent by the end of this year.
“This is also attributed to the developments of factories and physical infrastructure projects within Score. Over the last 10 years, a total of 208km of roads were constructed. These projects include access roads to Murum Hydro Electric Plant (HEP), to Baram, to Sangan and another one within the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub.
“Besides roads, water supply projects totalling a capacity of 126 MLD (millions litre per day) were also completed. These projects were meant for investors in the Samalaju Industrial Park and to boost up the water supply for Mukah. Infrastructure projects such as roads, new townships and service centre were also completed,” Abang Johari told the guests present.
He also highlighted new initiatives by the state government to not only boost the state’s socio-economy but also to attract more investors to the state.
Among them were the digital economy initiative, the setting up of the Development Bank of Sarawak (DBoS), cheap sustainable power and encouraging petrochemical industries in the state.
“The state government will continue to support the development of Score as it is proven to be effective in our efforts to industrialise the state. To date, Score has recorded over RM79.971 billion of both public and private investments. Out of this, RM33.64 billion or 42 per cent comes from private investment. The total amount of private investment realised thus far is RM22.53 billion, generated from nine projects that are already in operation.
“Seven of these projects are in Samalaju Industrial Park, one in Mukah and one in Tanjung Manis. The seven investors in Samalaju Industrial Park have contributed significantly to the local economy, generating a spillover of about RM500 million per month,” said Abang Johari.
In the state’s efforts to attract more industries into Samalaju Industrial Park as well as transforming Bintulu to become a petrochemical hub in this region, Abang Johari gave assurance that the state government would continue to support the growth of the existing industries in Samalaju Industrial Park to enable them to expand their operations and to attract more downstream industries.
“We are also encouraging the setting up of more petrochemical industries that can utilise our natural gas as feedstock not only in Bintulu but also in Lawas,” he said.
Efforts will also be made to ensure that Samalaju Industrial Port continues to provide efficient and business-friendly services to its customers.
“Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda), as the agency in charge, will be entrusted to oversee the planning as well as the orderly and systematic development of these industries,” he said. — DayakDaily