Sabah's east coast identified as new economic growth hub, says Hajiji

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has identified the state’s east coast as a place of interest to become the new economic growth hub, due to its proximity to the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippine East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said state agencies, such as POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd, have positioned its industrial park and port at Lahad Datu – a district in the east coast – as the logistics hub for BIMP-EAGA.

"Plans are also in place to construct a maritime academy to support the maritime dependent economies of EAGA and a marine transportation hub to enhance inter-EAGA connectivity," he said at the welcoming dinner and opening of the Sabah International Expo (SIE2023) here on Thursday (Sept 21).

The text of his speech was delivered by state Finance Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun who represented Hajiji at the dinner.

He added that Sabah state as a whole, is located in a strategic location within the BIMP-EAGA region and the potential must be further explored.

"As BIMP-EAGA prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, we ought to take stock of its potential.

"There is much opportunity in transboundary cooperation in earmarked sectors such as transportation; energy and power interconnection; trade and investment; information and communication technology; agro-industry and fisheries; tourism; environment and sociocultural and education.

"Except for Brunei, other EAGA members are far away from their capitals of Jakarta and Manila. Hence, Sabah is ideal as a gateway for trade and investment," he elaborated.

Hajiji believed that the establishment of the new Indonesian capital - Nusantara in East Kalimantan - will augment Sabah's prominence, with the expected influx of people and enterprises into Borneo region.

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