‘Manufacturing Sector To Grow Further Next Year’

FURTHER growth is projected in the state’s manufacturing sector next year in line with the global economic recovery.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the state’s manufacturing sector has shown improvements in 2017 and is expected to grow at 4.8 per cent (2016: 4.5 pct) driven by higher production of export-oriented industries, particularly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and petroleum products.

He also revealed that as at September this year Sarawak has managed to attract investment totalling RM7.8 billion, and generate about 1,500 employment opportunities.

This does not include the US$3 billion proposed steel project and US$2 billion proposed methanol project in Bintulu, he said in his winding-up speech yesterday.

Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development said the RM7.8 billion investment approved were mainly in sectors like the Petroleum and other Related Products (RM6.4 billion), Non-Metallic Mineral Products (RM684 million), Electronics and Electrical Products (RM300 million), and Approval by State Industrial Coordination Committee (RM190 million).

He added that the investments were mainly in Warehousing and Logistics, Food Manufacturing, Non-Metallic Mineral Products, Basic Metal Products, Woodbased and Wood Products.

He also noted that the Sarawak Corridor Of Renewable Energy (SCORE) initiative continues to attract foreign interests, especially at Samaiaju Industrial Park (SIP) where a concentration of energy-intensive industries are producing materials used in many global manufacturing operations. He said the companies operating at SIP have generated exports totalling RM4.7 billion in 2016 and RM8.7 billion in 2017 (till October).

They employ around 6,300 personnel, of which 70 per cent are locals, and create economic spinoffs estimated at RM500 million monthly.

Awang Tengah said the existence of trigger industries in Samalaju has positioned the state well to develop industrial clusters for these industries. For that reason, the state is now targeting the value added and downstream industries to utilise raw materials from the existing trigger industries, particularly to develop the SME Clusters.

Among the potential downstream industries include aluminium alloy, rods and cables, he added.

This strategy would provides more business and employment opportunities for the local small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs), graduates and school- leavers.

A site covering 100 hectares at Samalaju Industrial Park has been approved as a SME Cluster to facilitate more downstream value adding activities and support services.

The project is currently in the design stage, he said.

Source: The Borneo Post