Sabah has continued to register robust economic growth despite challenging economic conditions in the past 12 months, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.
The state’s economy has remained largely unaffected by the Lahad Datu intrusion by terrorists from the southern Philippines earlier this year,
“Although trade figures indicate a slight dip with exports at -8.3 percent and imports at 11.0 percent, the state has managed to achieve a slightly higher trade surplus of RM5.7 billion compared with the same period last year,” he said at the Malaysia International Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) Sabah branch luncheon yesterday.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah delivered the text of his speech.
Sabah’s impressive economic growth and stability, according to Musa, provides a bright prospect for investors who have come in for 21 investment projects in the manufacturing sector with a total value over RM3.9 billion.
“The 21 confirmed projects are in the chemical , electronics, food and biomass industries and crude palm oil (CPO),” he said.
In addition, Musa said, prospects remain bright for the tourism sector, with a 9.8 percent increase of tourist arrivals between January and May. “The positive figures augur well for the tourism industry, which indicates that the state’s tourist target of three million this year is well within reach,” he said.
During his speech, Musa said while the state expects a slight inflationary pressure from the recent hike in fuel prices, the consumer prices in the state are likely to remain stable and manageable for the rest of year.
“Prices for domestic items in Sabah remain stable in the first seven months with the Consumer Price Index indicates a slight increase from 105.9 in January to 106.4 in July,” he said.
In his speech, Musa also commended the Federal Government-led Economic Transformation Program, which has accelerated Sabah’s economic progress.
According to Musa, the Sabah Development Corridor Entry Point Projects or EPPs have notched 70 percent or RM 14.1 billion of the targeted investment of RM 20 billion this year.
“These projects have also reached 84 per cent of the job creation target. Notably, close to 68 per cent of the jobs created are being filled by Malaysians, a notable change from the past when two-thirds of new jobs created were filled by low-skilled foreign workers,” he said.