IN HIS SPEECH delivered by Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan at the 12th meeting of the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) at Wisma SEDIA on Thursday, the Chief Minister said the Federal Government's recent move to approve a special Investment Incentives Package for the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) will certainly intensify the investment momentum in Sabah.
Elaborating further, Musa said that the incentives are available for investment in designated Strategic Development areas, industrial clusters and SDC flagship projects. These include the Kinabalu Gold Coast Enclave, Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct (SAIP), Sandakan Education Hub, Sabah Oil and Gas Industrial Park (SOGIP), Interior Livestock Valley, Marine Integrated Cluster and the Lahad Datu Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC).
Musa, who is also Chairman of SEDIA, expressed great confidence that the state and national budgets for 2013 would further intensify development in the state.
"The State Government has provided RM4.088 billion for the state's 2013 Supply Budget, the biggest in the State's financial history," he said.
Highlighting Sabah's strategic geographic advantage along the maritime "silk road" linking the vibrant East Asian economies to the rest of the world Musa said Sabah has the potential leverage to make itself the pivotal link to connect with the rapidly growing Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) with the dynamic North East Asian Economies.
"Sabah's economy recorded an average growth of 5.3 percent between 2007 and 2010, which is 1.1 percent higher than the national growth rate over the same period. We expect the State's economy to remain resilient, expanding at about 5 to 6 percent even though the global economic outlook is uncertain, " he said.
On the subject of attracting more investors to Sabah, Musa pointed out that the measures introduced to align the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) with the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and the 10th Malaysia Plan, combined with the progress made in the implementation of SDC projects have succeeded in boosting business confidence in Sabah and encouraged more private investors to consider participating in the Entry Point Projects (EPP) and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in the state.
"That being so, It is important to recognise that the state's ability to continue to attract investments depends greatly on our ability to provide the right quality of human capital, more so as our economy moves to become more knowledge-intensive. Human capital development is clearly one of the key determinants to attract private investment, "
"As SDC has attracted private investment to the tune of RM114 billion since its launch in 2008, it is crucially important that we provide a sufficient pool of human resources with the required skills to meet the manpower requirements of the investors," Musa added. (Insight Sabah)