Sarawak a preferred investment destination

KUCHING: Sarawak remains a preferred investment destination, ranking among the top three states in Malaysia in the last six years, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

He said Sarawak recorded RM8.6bil worth of investments in the manufacturing sector last year, the third highest after Johor (RM30.5bil) and Selangor (RM18.9bil).

“Sarawak continues to attract both domestic and foreign investors due to our business-friendly policies and our ability to provide modern infrastructure as well as competitive power and water tariffs.

“We have an abundance of natural resources and we are also able to provide land for industries and large-scale agriculture with attractive premiums and flexible terms of payment,” he said when opening the Sarawak domestic investment seminar here.

Awang Tengah also reassured investors that Sarawak would not go bankrupt as predicted by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng recently, as the state was well-managed financially and had healthy credit ratings.

The Auditor-General had also given Sarawak a clean bill of financial health for the past 17 years.Lim had said on June 21 that Sarawak would go bankrupt in three years if Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government maintained its annual budget of RM11bil, which would use up the state reserves of RM30bil.

Awang Tengah said Sarawak’s budget did not depend on the reserves as the state had steady sources of revenue, including a 5% sales tax on petroleum products for export.

“This is a new stream of revenue for the state. We are not going to dip into our reserves, which will remain strong,” he said.

Earlier, Malaysian Investment Development Authority deputy CEO Arham Abd Rahman said 770 projects worth RM82.7bil had been implemented in Sarawak as of last year, creating over 104,000 jobs in various sectors.

“With so much development in the state, there is room for expansion and diversification activities, particularly in new growth areas.

“We encourage more companies to take advantage of the established ecosystem and facilities that Sarawak has to offer,” he said.

Source: The Star

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