[Sarawak Session] ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Malaysia

Consultation Meeting with the State Government and Agencies

Investment Opportunities and Challenges between Sarawak and ASEAN

The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Malaysia held a consultation meeting with the Sarawak state government and state agencies earlier today to discuss the state’s efforts in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), its existing priorities and future development plans, as well as opportunities that it can tap into in the larger ASEAN region. The session was chaired by ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid, who emphasised that the goal of this consultation was to listen and learn about the Sarawak government’s sophisticated development plans and how these plans will benefit micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)

“ASEAN-BAC Malaysia’s last dialogue with Sarawak MSMEs was held in February 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and before the government instability at the federal level from March the same year which added to our national woes and no doubt those of small businesses,” said Tan Sri Munir.

“We hope Sarawak will become more purposefully connected with ASEAN economic integration, such as through the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), especially with its high technology and clean energy projects. Digitalization and sustainability of the economy are the way forward for Sarawak and the region,” he added.

ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Council Member Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon concurred, adding, “Sarawak is uniquely placed to play a major role in the next global wave of development which increasingly emphasises clean energy and sustainability. Apart from ample renewable energy sources, Sarawak’s large tracts of forests represent potential state revenue from the trading of carbon credits with industries that need these credits.”

Highlighting Sarawak’s ability to attract foreign investment, ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Raja Singham said, “With over RM15 billion in FDI in the first nine months of 2020, Sarawak continues to show growth while generating new investment opportunities from state and federal authorities. The state should look to expand its overall trade opportunities through cross-border activities and from FDI, especially in the manufacturing and mining sectors. Leveraging the 12th Malaysia Plan will also definitely open doors for Sarawak to flourish further.”