KOTA KINABALU: Sabah should open up more flexible and business-friendly policies to attract foreign investors, said Sabah United Chinese Chambers of Commerce (SUCCC) president Datuk Seri Panglima Gan Sau Wah.
He said that such moves were important especially in the weakening economic situation.
“The state government, together with the private sector, should be more flexible and create more business-friendly policies so that foreign investors would be more open to investing here,” he said.
He said based on studies, the year 2016 is expected to be even more challenging for Malaysia, and Sabah in particular, mainly due to the global economic slump.
“But Sabah has an abundance of untapped natural resources and if the government could implement flexible pro-business policies, besides boosting efficiency in public services, coupled with the efforts of the private sector, together we can weather the tough times ahead,” Gan said.
He pointed out that foreign investment was crucial towards creating jobs for the locals and in boosting state revenue, apart from knowledge and technology sharing.
Nonetheless, Gan said he was convinced that the state economy would see a steady growth under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman who is also the state finance minister.
He also said that as gloomy as it may appear to be for the economy, there was a silver lining in the current downturn following a recent report stating that the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was planning to cut production of crude oil to boost prices.
“Crude oil prices are expected to rebound in the next few years and this is indeed great news for us, as we are one of the oil producing and exporting countries,” he said.
Gan was also positive that the country’s economic structure would change significantly with the diversification of its economy to reduce dependency on crude oil.