CHAIRING .....Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman, chairing the 13th meeting of the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) recently. Also seen here is Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Peter Pang En Yin Deputy Chairman (2) SEDIA, Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman, State Secretary, Datuk Pg Hassanel Pg Mohd Tahir, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Datuk Ismail Abdullah Director of the Economic Planning Unit of Sabah and Datuk Dr. Mohd Yaakub Johari, CEO / President SEDIA
THE SABAH Development Corridor (SDC) is now progressing to its second phase; and Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) has escalated its effort to attract more investments both locally as well as by taking part in MITI/MIDA-led investment and trade missions abroad.
Speaking about SEDIA’s aggressive move to attract investments the Chief Minister said that the response has been very encouraging and has resulted in substantial investment in all the sectors promoted under the SDC, especially in tourism, agriculture and manufacturing, the three pillars of Musa’s Halatuju agenda.
“To further spur investment in the SDC, the Federal Ministry of Finance has approved a tax incentive package to encourage investors in the tourism, manufacturing, agriculture sectors, which cover oil palm, oil and gas as well as human resource and education. The tax incentive package is open for applications until 31st December, 2020,” he said.
Musa who is also the Chairman of SEDIA said that within the second phase, SEDIA will work closely with Unit Peneraju Agenda Bumiputera (TERAJU) to boost participation of Bumiputera entrepreneurs, and a secretariat has been set up at the SEDIA office to facilitate Teraju’s operation.
“A total of RM100 million has been allocated by TERAJU for Bumiputera entrepreneurs in Sabah,” he said, adding that SEDIA has also entered into a memorandum of understanding with SME Bank with the aim of assisting SMEs involved in economic activities within SDC, creating access to much needed funding.
In an effort to help local entrepreneurs, SEDIA has organised courses at the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct to encourage agro-businesses under the 1AgroSAIP programme. In this programme, participants are given an introduction to various business opportunities in the sector, including pharma-herbs, bird nest rearing and processing, agro-organic and agro-food industries, and bio-science and biotechnology.
“I believe these initiatives will ensure that all SMEs including Bumiputera entrepreneurs will be able to enjoy the benefits of development in Sabah and no one will be left behind,” he said.
He also disclosed that SEDIA has taken measures to address the human capital requirements of investors and one of the programmes introduced with cooperation from PEMANDU is the National Talent Enhancement Programme (NTEP) whose aim it is to provide job placement for degree and diploma holders in engineering.
To date, there are 21companies participating in this programme.
“The close partnerships with stakeholder agencies have enabled SEDIA to facilitate investment into SDC and develop local entrepreneurial skills.
“It is clear that SEDIA has established a close link with all stakeholders and this valuable engagement benefits all parties,” he said.
The Chief Minister stressed that the factors that would ensure sustained investment interest in Sabah are political stability, sound economic fundamentals, good infrastructure and an adequate pool of human resource.
In the matter of security Musa said the setting up of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) and the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE) is proof of the government’s determination to safeguard Sabah’s peace and security. SEDIA is entrusted by the State and Federal Government to be the one-stop authority to deal with all aspects of the SDC, with the primary responsibility to plan, coordinate, promote and accelerate its development.
One of the most dramatic effects of the SDC is the reduction of poverty in Sabah. Since the launch of SDC in 2008, the poverty rate in Sabah has gone down from 19.7% in 2009 to 8.1% in 2012. In terms of investment performance, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) announced in February 2013 that the SDC recorded RM5 billion in investments in the manufacturing sector, the highest among the five corridors in Malaysia for the year 2012.
SEDIA has received a total of RM1.506 billion from allocations under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) and Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP) projects. (Insight Sabah)