Focus on growth engines

Abang Johari (centre) chairing the Sarawak Economic Action Council meeting, flanked by deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah (left) and Tan Sri James Masing.

KUCHING: Sarawak’s economy needs to grow by 8% annually in order to become a high-income and advanced state by 2030, says Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Chief Minister said this would double the state’s economy from RM133bil in 2018 to RM282bil.

“Commercial agriculture, mining, forestry, manufacturing and services, which includes tourism, will be our growth engines.

“We will accelerate our efforts in precision agriculture and modern mining using fourth industrial revolution technologies.

“This will provide the feedstock to develop high-value products and services, ” he said when chairing the Sarawak Economic Action Council’s first meeting here.

The council was formed last month to draw up a post-Covid-19 economic strategy for Sarawak up to 2030.

Its members, who include state ministers, private sector professionals and academics, will develop initiatives in eight economic sectors and six enabler sectors.

Abang Johari said Sarawak’s exports were targeted to triple in size with a focus on high value-added products.

He said the state would be less reliant on liquid natural gas (LNG) exports but move up the value chain to produce value-added petrochemical and finished goods.

“For agriculture, we will export high-value food products instead of primary agricultural produce.

“Our target is to turn the current food trade deficit of RM3bil to a net surplus, ” he said.

Abang Johari added that his vision of a high-income state not only encompassed economic prosperity but also an inclusive society and environmental sustainability.

He said economic growth must be translated to every Sarawakian, with the average monthly household income targeted to increase from RM5,000 to RM16,000 by 2030.

“I want our projects or initiatives to be rakyat-centric. The distribution of wealth to the rakyat must be equitable, ” he said.

In addition, he said the state would continue its reforestation efforts, enhance the regulatory framework and ensure compliance.

“We will invest in technology and innovation that can ensure all our economic activities are sustainable, ” he said.

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