Monday, 22 October 2012



 Chief Minister Pehin Seri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud having a conversation with His Excellency the Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani at the premier’s official residence

DOHA: The political stability and peaceful atmosphere enjoyed by all, either locals or the otherwise in Sarawak is among the main aspects graciously highlighted by Chief Minister Pehin Seri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud in his keynote address during the prestige Inside Investor forum Asia 2012 with Qatar as its host for this year.

Describing Sarawak’s politics as “unity in diversity”, Taib cited that the Sarawak Government and its people had worked hard to establish, maintain and sustain this social balance which is an important ingredient for political stability and economic growth.

“We are fully aware that investors seek a business-friendly government, legal certainty, economic opportunities and especially political stability,” he said adding that Sarawak has enjoyed political stability since independence in 1963 and all of this had definitely happened not by coincidence.

His speech, entitled “Investment and Business Opportunities in SCORE” was addressed upon the audiences or would-be potential investors at the forum which was held at one of Doha’s finest; St Regis Hotel Doha located in the centre of Qatar’s capital city. (October 8th, 2012)

Taib was accompanied by his wife Puan Seri Ragad Kurdi-Taib, Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang, Second Minister of Resource and Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Promotion of Technical Education) and Assistant Minister for Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh and Member of Parliament for Tanjung Manis and also Executive Chairman for Tanjung Manis Food and Industrial Park Sdn Bhd Datuk Hajah Norah Tun Abdul Rahman.
Taib, was in the present of His Excellency Sheikh Abdul Rahman Bin Khalifa Bin Abdul Azziz Al Thani who was representing His Excellency the Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani whom was accompanied by Board Member of Qatar Business Association His Excellency Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani.

Representing the Associations of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was its Secretary General His Excellency Dr. Surin Pitsuwan with Inside Investor was represented by Mr kmran saddique.

Earlier in his speech, Taib said that he was indeed very pleased and honoured of becoming one of the key speakers at the forum at Doha and expressed sincere appreciation and gratitude to Inside Investor for the invitation.

“I know that everyone concerned have put in a lot of hard work and dedication to ensure that this Forum will be a success,” he said and also thanked
the Government of Qatar.

Also mentioned in his salutation were the relevant Government agencies from Malaysia namely the Malaysian Embassy, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), as well as the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) in helping to organise the forum.

“As result for the political stability in Sarawak, we have been able to systematically implement our development agenda to foster a strong economy opening opportunities aplenty to the economic growth.”

“We have been able to achieve a robust economic growth over the years and in comparison, Sarawak now ranks as the fourth largest economy among the states in Malaysia,” explained Taib adding the Sarawak Government is rated A (stable outlook) by Standard and Poor’s and A3 (stable outlook) by Moody’s Investors Services.

“We are committed to accelerate economic growth to benefit our people, particularly those in the rural areas of Sarawak and it remains a major developmental challenge considering the large size of the state with a relatively small population of 2.5 million but we continue to strive to bring a better life to the people.”

Sarawak will continue to find new ways to achieve higher rates of growth and open up the State for further development and implementation of SCORE is the key approach to achieve long-term socio-economic development Plan until the year 2030, he said.

The Chief Minister expressed his objective coming to Qatar is to introduce Sarawak, a State within Malaysia to the GCC countries and those who are present to the investment opportunities available in the State, especially under our Regional Economic Corridor or Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy, or affectionately known as SCORE.

"In the context of investment and business opportunities available in the two growth nodes within SCORE; Samalaju Industrial park and Tanjung Manis Halal Hub," he said adding Samalaju Industrial Park is designated as the centre for heavy and energy-intensive industries whereas the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub is being developed for Halal industries.

Believing that the Forum is a perfect avenue to disseminate information and provide real-time clarification on investment potentials in SCORE to prospective investors from GCC Countries, Taib said they also hoping to foster closer relationship and networking with all potential investors interested investing in SCORE specifically and in Sarawak in general.

Taib also assured that his delegates are at their service and would respond to any enquiries that on any potential investment during and after this forum.

"Sarawak literally has more than 1,000 years of trading experiences as it was recorded in the ancient history to be one of the trading points in South East Asia used by early intrepid Muslim Arabs in their trade and missionary quests."

"The Muslim Arabs understood the region’s geographical advantage, its wealth in natural resources and their legacy continues to this day hence, more investment inflows from GCC Countries into Sarawak will further strengthened investment ties between GCC Countries and Sarawak for our mutual benefits."

Sarawak dubbed the Land of The Hornbill, the largest state in Malaysia with a landmass of 124,450 square kilometres (approximately ten times that of Qatar) with a population of 2.5 million people, said Taib pointing out the State’s long coastline of 1,051 kilometres, abundant natural resources, an extensive river system and huge tracts of lands.

"The developments however, are controlled, well-conserved tropical rainforest, a diverse collection of tropical flora and fauna and one of the most extensive storage of biodiversity in the world," citied Taib adding that Sarawak preserves at least 80 per cent of all lands in Sarawak remain under forest cover.

"I can confidently say that this is far more than most countries throughout the world can do therefore, the Government pledges to prioritise a balanced environmental management in Sarawak’s pursuit for sustainable development into the future."

"SCORE covers 70,000 square kilometres in the Sarawak’s central region, blessed with an abundant supply of natural resources available are vast tract of land suitable for development and huge mineral reserves for industrial purposes," he said adding the among products could be produced are silica sand and kaolin clay.

"But more importantly the immense energy potential, especially hydropower and the SCORE’s core is the huge hydropower potential; the engine of growth to the future development of Sarawak."

Source: New Sarawak Tribune

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