KUCHING: Sarawak has received investment proposals totalling RM8.4bil in the first nine months of this year, indicating an improved investment climate compared to last year.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said this did not include the proposed US$3bil (RM12.7bil) steel project and US$2bil (RM8.5bil) methanol project in Bintulu.

“These are encouraging signs and we are confident that more investors will come to Sarawak, particularly for energy-intensive industries,” he said when opening the fourth Sarawak Business and Investment Summit here yesterday.

Awang Tengah said the proposed investments so far this year was higher than the total investment of RM4.7bil the state received last year, which was in tandem with the slowdown in the global economy.

“This achievement is not by chance but the result of strong leadership, good planning and implementation by the state government,” he said.

Awang Tengah also said Sarawak had approved RM20bil to implement various development projects under the 11th Malaysia Plan from 2016 to 2020.

In addition, the Federal Government approved RM24.6bil under the first and second rolling plans from 2016 to 2018.

The major projects being undertaken in Sarawak include the RM16.5bil Pan Borneo highway, Baleh hydroelectric dam (RM8bil), backbone transmission line (RM2.7bil), Samalaju industrial port (RM1.8bil) and Samalaju industrial park (RM1bil).

The state is also implementing several transformation initiatives involving agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, urban development, entrepreneurship and environment.

With the services sector being the biggest contributor to the state’s economy, Awang Tengah said efforts would be intensified to develop and promote it, especially the tourism sub-sector.

“The tourism industry will be transformed through strong branding and wider connectivity.

“We are leveraging on digital technology to attract more tourists to the state and to enhance their experience during their stay,” Awang Tengah said.

The urban economy, he added, will be expanded to create more employment and business opportunities. An orderly urban environment will be developed to enhance the quality of life in urban areas.

“To support the growth of the urban economy, systematic property development will be carried out in the major towns of Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu.

“We welcome the private sector in the development of the residential and commercial sub-sector as well as the provision of public transport and services,” he said.

Source: http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2017/10/10/sarawak-attracting-more-investors-number-of-proposals-in-first-nine-months-of-2017-higher-than-total