WIEF ROUNDTABLE KOTA KINABALU
Economic Rejuvenation: The Path to Growth
12 MAR 2020
By YABhg Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman WIEF Foundation
Delivered by YBhg. Tan Sri Ahmad Fuzi Haji Abdul Razak,
Secretary General of WIEF Foundation
Assalamualaikum and a very good morning,
- YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie bin Haji Apdal, Chief Minister of Sabah
- YB Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Trade and Industry, Sabah
- YB Datuk Christina Liew, Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah
- YB Datuk Dr Haji Jaujan Bin Haji Sambakong, Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah cum Minister of Local Government and Housing
- Distinguished State Ministers
- YB Datuk Haji Safar Untong, State Secretary of Sabah
- Distinguished Guests,
- Speakers and Participants,
- Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the pleasure to read YABhg Tun Musa Hitam’s remarks.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the WIEF Roundtable 2020 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
First of all, on behalf of the WIEF Foundation let me thank YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Mohamad Shafie Apdal, the Chief Minister of Sabah and the State Government for hosting this WIEF Roundtable in Kota Kinabalu.
I would like to also thank the Sabah Ministry of Trade & Industry as well as all Sabah State Government Agencies for the support and cooperation extended to us in organising this Roundtable.
This is the first time that we are holding a WIEF Roundtable in Malaysia.
Our previous Roundtables have all been held outside the country in Kuwait, Russia, Indonesia, South Africa, Spain, UK, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, India and Bangladesh.
We consider holding it here as indeed special in enabling us to create a platform for global business networking, knowledge exchange and productive discussions on key economic issues of special interest to the Government of Sabah.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Sabah today is one of Malaysia’s rapidly developing States.
Its vast and varied resources open up endless opportunities for development in all fields.
It was with this in mind that we have chosen “Economic Rejuvenation: The Path to Growth” as the theme of the Roundtable.
The challenge for Sabah, just like other States in Malaysia, is to ensure sustainable development in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). This means striking the right balance between achieving rapid growth and development with the need to preserve its beautiful landscape and rich forest reserves, currently home to many species of flora and fauna including endangered species like the orangutan, sun bears, clouded leopards, gibbons and proboscis monkeys.
For any country or State however, rapid economic development requires a steady flow of investment, both domestic and foreign.
But attracting investment is becoming more and more challenging against the backdrop of fierce competition by other countries in the region.
And to add to that the current outbreak of Covid-19.
At the same time, a climate of uncertainty and unpredictable global and regional developments beyond the control of nation States, offer no guarantee that investment targets can be achieved even with the right policies and incentives provided to potential investors. There is always the need to review and formulate new strategies, priorities and action plans in addressing these challenges.
A new window of opportunities has fortunately emerged on the horizon with Indonesia’s decision to move its capital to East Kalimantan. Being close geographically, Sabah is certainly well placed to make a head start in exploring the various business and economic potentials that can be tapped for the long-term benefit of the State.
Compiling and putting together the necessary information and data on all these would be useful in enabling Sabah to develop an appropriate strategy and to play a proactive role that would best serve its economic interest.
As a progressive and dynamic State that is business friendly and with a commendable track record to its credit, we believe that Sabah is fully committed to developing the State through investment in the right economic sectors. Successful investments in any field, given the vast opportunities available, would no doubt be helpful in creating new job opportunities for the people.
What is important is to ensure that sufficient and updated information on Government policies, legal and regulatory framework and incentives are provided to potential investors interested to invest in Sabah.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We hope that the focus given to the four components mentioned above at the Roundtable would not only be informative to participants but provide the necessary triggers to promote a more robust and productive discussion.
It is also our hope to see, at the end of the day, something productive that would bring about a win-win outcome for the benefit of all participants attending the Roundtable.
In this regard, we believe the opportunity provided to our participants to engage in the Business Networking Breakfast and to undertake a Business Site Tour would provide a more comprehensive understanding of the opportunities and facilities available for investment in Sabah.
In conclusion, let me once again thank YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie bin Haji Apdal, Chief Minister of Sabah, for the generous hospitality accorded to all of us here during the course of the Roundtable.
May Allah Bless us all.
Thank you and Wassalamualaikum Warahmarullahi Wabarakatuh.