Sarawak CM wary of trade war

Abang Jo­hari fears US-China con­flict may have an im­pact on state’s econ­omy

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - By ANDY CHUA andy­chua@thes­tar.com.my

SIBU: The state govern­ment hopes that the trade war be­tween China and United States will not im­pact its econ­omy which is pro­jected to grow be­tween 4% and 4.5% this year.

Last year, its econ­omy achieved 4.7% growth as it ben­e­fited from the strength­en­ing of the global econ­omy.

Chief Min­is­ter Datuk Amar Abang Jo­hari Tun Openg, speak­ing at the Head of State’s 82th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion pa­rade yes­ter­day, said higher com­modi­ties prices were ex­pected to sup­port the state’s ex­port growth.

“How­ever, there re­mains the down­side risk cre­ated by the trade war be­tween China and the US which may im­pact on the state’s trade, but we hope for the best,” he said.

He pointed out that the state’s to­tal trade in 2017 im­proved to RM137.6bil as its ex­port grew strongly along with the eco­nomic im­prove­ment in other parts of the world.

Its GDP per capita stood at RM49,327 at cur­rent value.

In or­der to en­hance the state’s eco­nomic growth, he said sev­eral mea­sures would be im­ple­mented as it could not de­pend only on its oil and gas sec­tor and its agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties which were sub­ject to fluc­tu­a­tion in the global mar­ket.

“We have to add more value to our prod­ucts and cre­ate more down­stream ac­tiv­i­ties to sup­port higher eco­nomic growth.

“For Sarawak to con­tinue pro­gress­ing, we need to trans­form Sarawak through dig­i­tal econ­omy where tech­nol­ogy be­comes the ba­sis of our eco­nomic growth.

“We need to em­brace tech­no­log­i­cal changes to be com­pet­i­tive and cre­ate more eco­nomic val­ues to our prod­ucts and ser­vices, move away from con­ven­tion to an econ­omy that is founded on dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion on many fronts,” he added.

On ru­ral de­vel­op­ment, he said the state de­vel­op­ment bud­get had al­ways been ru­ral-bi­ased be­cause it needed to pro­vide the in­fra­struc­ture and ameni­ties to the ru­ral folk so that they could en­joy a com­fort­able life like those in the towns and cities.

There are still pock­ets of ar­eas without ac­cess to clean wa­ter and 24-hour power sup­ply near Kuch­ing and ar­eas in Be­laga where the Bakun hy­dro dam sits.

The state govern­ment, he said, is “not deaf and dumb to these prob­lems”.

Ear­lier, he con­grat­u­lated head of state Tun Ab­dul Taib Mah­mud for bring­ing vast de­vel­op­ment to the state when he was the Chief Min­is­ter from 1983 to Fe­bru­ary 2014.

— Ber­nama

Birth­day boy: Taib, flanked by Abang Jo­hari and Toh Puan Ra­gad Kurdi Taib, cut­ting his birth­day cake at the cel­e­bra­tion in Dataran Sibu.

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