YEAR 2019 was a year of growth for Penang in view of the massive investments that flowed in.
However, just like in economies elsewhere, investments here were stunted by the Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted the global supply chain.
Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas said as such, the state government needed to double its efforts to aggressively continue promoting local and foreign investments for new or re-investments to spur the growth of the state.
“Many companies are facing slower growth projection for the next six months due to the pandemic with their supply chains affected, which is putting a damper in the manufacturing industry - the main engine of growth for the state, ” said Abdul Rahman when opening the 14th state assembly session at Dewan Sri Pinang in George Town yesterday.
Abdul Rahman said the tourism industry was also expected to be badly affected and hoped that the short and long-term Tourism Action Recovery Plan by Penang Global Tourism would help put the industry back on track post Covid-19.
“While the manufacturing and service industries are the prime movers of the state’s gross domestic product, the agriculture sector also plays an important part in the growth of the state’s economy.
“As such, the state should help and support farmers and fishermen to move towards self- sufficiency by creating niche markets for their products.
“The state could use the latest technology and Internet of Things through the Industry 4.0 revolution to help boost their productivity, ” he said.
Abdul Rahman also pointed out the increase in cases of illegal plastic dumping which further led to sea pollution in the state, ecological and environmental issues.
He urged agencies in both the state and Federal governments to increase their efforts in curbing such practices.
“Nurturing of the young through talent development in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) is the government’s top priority.
“It had organised 450 programmes in the field for human capital development of highly skilled individuals who could support the Industry 4.0 revolution.”
The state, said Abdul Rahman, had been focusing on the wholesome family concept since 2008 with 30,191 affordable housing units, of which 24,096 units are in various phases of construction while some 51,000 units are in the planning stage.
“The development of any state is incomplete without a comprehensive, systematic and realistic transport plan and the state’s Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) will increase the accessibility and economic growth of Penang.
“Thus, the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project is the right model due to the scarcity of land on the island, which would be a boost for industries that are the main growth of the state.”
Abdul Rahman said tenders would be called at the end of 2020 for the PSR project, while the reclamation work is expected to begin by early 2021.
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