Abang Johari greeting the people on his arrival at the state Gawai celebration. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / The Star
KUCHING: The Development Bank of Sarawak (DBoS) is slated to start operations on Jan 1 next year, said Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said the board of governors had been formed for the establishment of the bank that had already been approved by Bank Negara.
“The Prime Minister has approved the set up of DBoS. It will become a bank for us to generate and accelerate economic growth through funding that is owned by Sarawakians themselves.
“In other countries, development bank is a strategic move. Sarawak must have its development bank in order to accelerate economic development in urban and particularly rural areas,” Abang Johari said at the state Gawai celebration here.
He cited financial institutes such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank that helped global growth after the Second World War.
The Asian Development Bank was set in 1966 and dedicated to foster economic growth and cooperation to reduce poverty in Asia.
Abang Johari also mentioned the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a multilateral development bank aimed at supporting building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.
He said China formed the organisation to accelerate its economic growth in Asia.
The chief minister announced the setting up of the state’s development bank during the International ICT Infrastructure and Digital Economy Conference here in April.
DBoS will operate on a financial model that will help fund strategic projects in line with the state’s socio-economic transformation catch-up plan (2017-2030).
He said the strategic projects would be in four key sectors of ICT Infrastructure, energy, urban public transportation and services. The bank will give loans in these strategic areas and not undertake or advertise for public deposits.
At the Gawai dinner, Abang Johari urged the Dayak community to continue working together to ensure they would not be left out in economic development.
The chief minister also announced that the state government would allocate two pieces of land at Jalan Ong Tiang Swee here for Sarawak Cultural Foundation and Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Both organisations can use the land for their premises and as facilities to become more effective in playing their role to spur more Dayak participation in the expansion of the Sarawak’s economic cake.