Sarawak keen to partner China for sustainable growth, says Deputy Premier

KUCHING: Sarawak is committed to working with China towards sustainable development in various sectors and promote socioeconomic growth, says Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

The Deputy Premier said collaborations in digital economy, renewable energy, smart cities and technological innovation would pave the way for a greener and more resilient future.

"We hope that the bilateral relationship continues to grow stronger as a key driving force for sustained growth and prosperity," he said at the Sarawak networking engagement session for the Malaysia-China Summit 2024 here on Thursday (May 23).

The summit will be held in Kuala Lumpur in December in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China.

Awang Tengah said Sarawak's collaboration with China expanded in recent years to digital economy, green technology and sustainable development.

For instance, he said Kuching's autonomous rapid transit (ART) system was a collaborative project between Sarawak and China, helping to position Sarawak as a leader in adopting green mobility.

"Our first three units of hydrogen-powered buses and ART trams are fabricated in China.

"The participation of China in the ART project, by bringing in expertise and technology, promotes a modern, sustainable and efficient urban transportation system," he said.

Awang Tengah also said China was one of Sarawak’s key trading and investment partners.

He said Sarawak's exports to China last year, which included liquefied natural gas, edible oils and basic metal, were worth RM18.8bil while imports such as machinery, manufactured goods and consumer products amounted to RM9.9bil.

In addition, he said China had invested more than RM19.4bil in Sarawak, mainly in solar, steel and wood-based manufacturing projects.

"This has led to the creation of more than 10,000 jobs for the local population and spin-off effects on the local economy," Awang Tengah said.

China consul-general in Kuching Xing Weiping said Sarawak's development strategy provided opportunities for businesses from both sides in sectors such as infrastructure, new energy and digital economy.

"China and Sarawak have huge potential for cooperation.

"China is willing to discuss and explore cooperation in new energy industries and jointly work together to address global climate change," he said.

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