WHEN SABAH NEEDS TO DEVELOP INFRASTRUCTURE?
KOTA KINABALU, SABAH (FEBRUARY 04, 2023) :Sabah needs to develop its strategic infrastructure so it can attract more foreign investors, said State Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Minister (MIDE) Phoong Jin Zhe.
He said investors are discouraged to put money into the state due to lacking infrastructure which makes industrial development difficult.
Phoong explained that whenever there is an attempt to go overseas to try and attract investors here, they will always ask whether the state has strong utilities, water supply and electricity.
The Luyang assemblyman is also concerned about other strategic infrastructure here such as logistics and transportation, which are currently not sustainable for investors.
He added another issue that is currently plaguing Sabah is the scarcity of land as he worries over the sufficiency of land to facilitate investors in the next 10 years.
It is an issue that his ministry is currently looking into, he said, as part of long-term planning for Sabah's industrial development, and he will be making a lot of foreign visits to ask for assistance.
" We always take investors into Sabah to put money into commodities, solar panels, copper foil and such. However, I have briefed the Cabinet that we should also look into bringing investors to invest in our infrastructure in Sabah.
" When foreign investors come to Sabah and they want to invest in something, that goes out the window when some of our infrastructure is still waiting for Federal allocation to be built or implemented. So I think we also need to explore the possibility of allowing investors to invest in our infrastructure," he said when launching The Gallery Industrial Hub at Kolombong, here, Saturday.
In relation, he said Sabah requires more industrial hub estate, and he compared Sabah's current manufacturing GDP of 7.5 per cent compared to 8.6 per cent ten years ago.
Phoong said this shows no matter how many programmes such as the Sabah Development Corridor to today's Sabah Maju Jaya plan, there are still many challenges ahead for the state.
He suggested the upgrading of the ports here as well as creating more connectivity to the world in lieu of the very limited range of local products that are exported out of Sabah.
" These are the difficulties that we currently face. That is why Sabah cannot just rely on the tourism and agriculture industries.
" The state requires strong industries. This will be my main task in terms of industrial development, which would necessitate more facilitation when it comes to attracting investors," he said.
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