By Ashley Sim
KUCHING, May 26: Sarawak has gained an international AAA credit rating which is a clear testimony of the State’s good governance and prudent financial management in managing its financial affairs.
According to Deputy Premier of Sarawak Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, both international and domestic rating houses have reaffirmed commendable investment-grade credit ratings to Sarawak.
He stated that Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) have reaffirmed Sarawak’s ratings of A3 and A-, respectively.
“The State has always been upholding and maintaining good governance practices to achieve and sustain its sound financial position.
“In this respect, it is my pleasure to inform this august House that Sarawak is once again accorded a clean certificate that is an unqualified report for its financial accounts for the year ended December 31, 2020.
“With this, Sarawak has earned 19 consecutive years of clean record for its financial statements,” he said today in his winding-up speech during the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here.
Uggah, who is also Minister for Finance and New Economy (II), said on the demand side, Sarawak’s total trade registered a growth of 26.6 per cent from RM77.2 billion in 2020 to RM100.26 billion in 2021.
“Export grew by 29.9 per cent driven by an increase in the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG), crude petroleum, crude palm oil, petroleum products, aluminum, and ferro-alloys.
“We anticipate the prices of these commodities will remain strong and continue to contribute to export growth,” he mentioned.
Additionally, he explained that imports showed double-digit growth of 20.6 per cent in 2021 and the import of machinery and transport equipment increased by 11.2 per cent, due to development growth.
“Better external demand performance is expected in 2022 with anticipation of high commodities prices and continued progress of construction activities in Sarawak,” he noted.
Uggah, who is also the Bukit Saban assemblyman, pointed out that in 2021, private investment grew by 7.3 per cent supported by expansion in global demand and the realisation of new and ongoing investments.
“Sarawak secured RM7.1 billion of investment in the manufacturing sector in 2021.
“The investment in capital and intermediate goods has also expanded, and following the continuous recovery in the economy, Sarawak anticipates securing more investment in 2022 from both domestic and foreign sources,” he remarked.
Moreover, he added that public investment grew by 18.2 per cent in 2021 given increasing momentum in the implementation of infrastructure projects throughout Sarawak.
“Overall, given this backdrop, Sarawak’s economy is projected to grow between 5.0 per cent to 6.0 per cent in 2022,” Uggah said. — DayakDaily