KOTA KINABALU (Nov 25): Sabah’s economy is seen as increasingly sustainable when the state’s industrial sector bagged a total foreign investment of RM11.9 billion in the second quarter of this year (2Q 2022), Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said.
Hajiji, who is also the state Finance Minister, said Sabah has also received domestic investment amounting to RM942 million in the main manufacturing and service sectors, making Sabah the third-highest recipient of investment in Malaysia during the period.
“The rapid development of the industrial sector in Sabah indicates that the state’s economy is becoming more sustainable,” he said when tabling the Sabah Budget 2023 themed “Empowered Economy for People’s Prosperity” at the state legislative assembly here on Friday.
He said Sabah has received an investment from China’s Kibing Group valued at RM2 billion that would create 2,100 job opportunities.
Hajiji said the investment included the construction of a solar glass panel manufacturing plant in Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) as well as the mining and construction of a silica sand processing plant in Kudat.
He said the two plants are expected to be fully operational in September and October next year respectively.
“SK Nexilis, a copper foil factory with a total investment of RM4.2 billion, has provided 7,000 job opportunities in the construction phase and is expected to create more than 400 job opportunities when it commences its operation in September next year,” he said. .
Meanwhile, he said the oil and gas industry in Sabah is also developing positively and is expected to provide high returns while enabling Sabah to gain participation and dominance in the industry through joint ventures between Petronas and the state government companies.
Hajiji said the increase in equity holding to 10% in Petronas LNG9 Sdn Bhd, thus far, has added a revenue collection of RM202 million to the state government.
“The transfer of Petronas’ gas upstream assets and gas supply contract through the commercial collaboration agreement (CCA) has made the state government agency the largest supplier and transporter of domestic natural gas in Malaysia.
“This collaboration can supply 250 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas to independent power generators (IPP) and non-power sectors,” he said.
Additionally, he said the Budget would allocate RM808.06 million to boost the development and organization of the state’s agricultural, industrial and tourism sectors.
He said the state government would set aside a total of RM501.54 million to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to empower the four sub-sectors of agriculture, namely crops, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture as well as rubber commodities.
For the tourism sector, he said the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment would receive RM134.59 million to implement programs to upgrade basic tourist facilities for the comfort and safety of tourists as well as human capital development.
Hajiji said for the eight-month period of this year, the number of tourist arrivals to Sabah has increased to 1.01 million persons as opposed to only 125,601 tourists in the same period last year, an increase of 705.8%.
He added that in line with the Sabah Maju Jaya roadmap, a total of RM175.61 million would be earmarked for the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and agencies under the ministry to improve the implementation of science, technology and innovation culture in Sabah.