KUCHING: The Sarawak government has set a target for the Serian division's gross domestic product (GDP) to reach RM1.4bil by 2030, mainly by leveraging on its tourism potential.
Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the division's GDP currently stood at RM600mil.
"We have RM800mil to go, which will require growth of 6%-8%.
"Can Serian achieve that? I believe it can, provided the infrastructure is ready. Serian can be another tourist centre," he told a press conference after chairing a state development coordination committee meeting in Serian on Thursday (Nov 16).
Located between Kuching and Samarahan, Serian was one of Sarawak's 12 administrative divisions. Serian town, the division's capital, was about 60km from here.
Abang Johari said Serian could be developed into a tourism destination similar to New Zealand, focussing on its natural attractions and culture.
"Serian has rivers, mountains, agriculture, durian and other fruits. It is rich in Bidayuh culture and we can organise festivals here," he said.
He added that the state government would develop facilities and infrastructure to support tourism in Serian.
This included extending the automated rapid transit (ART) public transport system, which was being developed in Kuching, to Serian.
Abang Johari also said the state government had allocated RM1.03bil to upgrade the water supply in Serian under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
He said some parts of the upgrading might only be completed one to two years after the end of the 12MP period in 2025 because of accessibility issues.
"There is a lot of project implementation in various villages as we want to make sure that water supply reaches the target areas," he said.