KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government is calling on investors both domestic and abroad to explore the vast business opportunities in the state ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic recovery.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said with the pandemic slowing down, efforts have been made to ensure the revival of various industries in the economy.
“Sabah is open for business. We call on start-ups, entrepreneurs, businesses and investors to have a closer look at Sabah and see what we have to offer,” he said in his keynote speech at the Sabah International Business and Economic Summit held at the Sabah International Convention Center here on Monday (Jan 17).
Citing several examples of Sabah's economic revival efforts, Hajiji said he would be witnessing the signing of three memorandums of understanding for high-impact investments in agriculture, industrial and tourism.
“We are certain these new investments – including an innovative solar glass manufacturing and a large-scale herbs plantation - will assure Sabah of good returns while creating job opportunities for the people.
“We look forward to partnering with more investors who are serious about doing business with us,” he said while assuring investors that the state government would strengthen the implementation of these projects to ensure their success.
Earlier in his speech, Hajiji mentioned how Sabah was once an industrial powerhouse in the 1980s with the sub-sectors including mining and quarrying, construction, services and manufacturing being the biggest.
He said overall, the industrial sector contributes to 8% of Sabah’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but the figure does not reflect the sector’s true potential.
"Sabah aims to reclaim its once top spot in the sector.
"Due to the size of the state and its population, we play an important role, by among others, being the sixth largest contributor to the Malaysian economy," he said.
Hajiji said Sabah contributes 5.8% to the country's GDP and has made significant milestones in its economic development since forming Malaysia in 1963.
"Sabah is one of the biggest producers of petroleum, rubber and cocoa in Malaysia but its economy is also highly diversified with the state now putting more emphasis on connectivity, technology and agriculture.
“The state government is fully invested in enhancing infrastructure, nurturing entrepreneurship, boosting investment and increasing competitiveness by leveraging advances in the 4th Industrial Revolution,” he said.
Hajiji said Sabah is the country’s second largest state after Sarawak and is strategically located in the centre of economic activity.
He said Sabah has China on its north, Philippines on its northeast, Indonesia to its south, and at its west - Brunei and Singapore - whereas Thailand is to its northwest.
As for natural resources, he said Sabah has more than enough for tourism and other related industries to be explored sustainably.
“Throughout this Summit, I would encourage you to speak to officials from the state government. We are always interested in exploring collaborations on building a win-win private-public partnership,” Hajiji said.
He said the two-day summit starting Monday (Jan 17) with the theme “Unlocking Sabah’s Potential, Unleashing Business Opportunities” is timely and apt for Sabah as it is on the cusp of speeding up its growth and development.