MIRI: More than 200 entrepreneurs and representatives of business associations yesterday attended an outreach programme led by Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Dr Ong Kian Ming here.
The outreach programme is part of MITI’s ongoing efforts to inform the business community of various polices, promotional activities and incentives made available by MITI and its agencies.
During the event held at Pullman Waterfront Hotel, a live “question-and-answer”session with Dr Ong and MITI’s agencies was held, allowing participants to raise policy issues concerning their business communities.
Participants were also briefed on programmes and resources available through MITI and its agencies.
On Tuesday, Dr Ong and his entourage visited Bintulu Port and Samalaju Industrial Park.
The main objective of the outreach programme was to connect local businesses to resources available in MITI and its agencies in the area of technology upgrading and exports.
“Samalaju Industrial Park continues to receive interest from investors. I’ve been informed of some of the challenges there such as the need to step up Bintulu Port’s capacity and the lack of services in the area,” said Dr Ong.
He added such challenges stemmed from the growth that the park had been experiencing since its opening.
“These challenges are also opportunities for local businesses to open up services to cater to the growing population at Samalaju,” explained Ong.
His visits to Sibu , Bintulu and Miri are follow-ups from the earlier working visit to the state by the Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Darell Leiking on September 21 this year.
“Sarawak has been left out of the conversation on development for a long time. That is why I decided to visit and bring the agencies along. In discussions together with the businesses and stakeholders, we can seek new growth areas in manufacturing in Sibu and Miri,” Dr Ong said.
In 2017, he revealed Sarawak attracted RM10.5 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) and domestic direct investment and that the state was ranked third after Penang and Johor.
“FDI is coming to Sarawak and, of course, we encouraging this growth,” said Ong.
Also present during the outreach programme yesterday were Pujut State Assemblyman, Dr Ting Tiong Choon, Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak secretary and Pakatan Harapan Sarawak secretary, Alan Ling and officials from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Malaysian Development Investment Authority (MATRADE) and Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad (MIDF).