KUCHING: The Sarawak government has embarked on a mission to leapfrog its economies to intelligent manufacturing, or known as Industry 4.0.
Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said a smart approach to energy use hand-in-hand with modern industrialisation would see the state focusing on high-efficiency productions and digital manufacturing.
In order for Sarawak to move towards Industry 4.0, he pointed out the need to build quality infrastructures and establish good connectivity to support excellence performances in all sectors and stimulate economic growth.
He said not all sectors in Sarawak had reached Industry 2.0 (mechanisation).
While some of its industries were shifting towards automation, the immediate push in digital economy would spur economic growth to turn Sarawak into a developed state by 2030, he said.
“From a strategy perspective, it is crucial for Sarawak to master the challenges brought on by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which resulted in innovations through the merging of the physical, digital and biological worlds.
“Industry 4.0 will see us focussing on data exchange in manufacturing technologies, Internet of Things, analytic and big data, autonomous robots as well as cloud computing.
“We need to introduce technologies in robotics that are equipped with artificial intelligence to support our manufacturing sectors, especially food production and modern farming,” Abang Johari told reporters after opening the Business Excellence Seminar and Forum 2017 here.
The one-day event, which attracted 250 participants at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, was organised by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC).
Abang Johari said with a small population of 2.6 million and good landmass, Sarawak should focus on transborder market and model its economies after advanced digitalised nations such as Estonia and Scandinavian countries such as Finland, Norway and Sweden.
To leapfrog its economy to Industry 4.0, the state needs to attain world-class business excellence practices to become one of the top Foreign Direct Investments destinations.
“We are resolute in our commitment to become a developed economy.
Sarawak has considerable oil-and-gas reserves and we have formed our own state petroleum company (Petros) to participate actively alongside Petronas.
“We have formed our own development bank, Development Bank of Sarawak, to enable us to engage in strategic projects to drive the economy and speed up development.
“The state, acquiring 100% ownership of the Bakun Hydro Dam from the Federal Government, will allow us to consolidate our power production, which is crucial for smooth implementation of energy-intensive industries,” he added.
MPC chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim said the agency had embarked on supporting the Sarawak government agenda in providing a conducive business environment with pursuance of Good Regulatory Practice through several programmes.
At the enterprise level, MPC facilitates local businesses with programmes designed to tap their optimal capability, generating a cost savings of RM8.1mil from process innovation projects last year.
Azman said labour productivity in Sarawak – measured by real-added value per employee – grew by 2.4%, compared with 3.5% at the national level last year.