Sarawak a major contributor to nation’s GDP

Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz

KUCHING: Sarawak’s contribution to the nation’s economy cannot be understated, with it being one of the main contributors to the gross domestic product (GDP).

“Sarawak has established itself as one of the main players in the oil and gas, industrial and plantation sectors, as reflected by the strong presence of investors in key economic areas.

“In 2019, the state recorded the third highest contribution of 9.6 per cent to the nation’s GDP. The state’s major commodities include liquefied natural gas, crude petroleum and palm oil.

“The commodities account for about 64 per cent of the state’s total exports and around 6.4 per cent of Malaysia’s total export in 2019,” said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz at the Industry Engagement Session here on Thursday (Sept 17).

However, the Covid-19 pandemic really tested the resilience of every individual and entity globally, including various industries and sectors in Malaysia, he added.

“Now we are faced with a situation that is unprecedented, with no prior reference to guide us. Various industries face declining demand and pressures on margins.

“Globally, we have seen supply chain disrupted, with increased cost of doing business due to the need to adhere to standard operating procedure in response to the pandemic.”

Tengku Zafrul said the unemployment rate, which spiked following the pandemic, had recovered slightly following reopening of more economic sectors, education sector, and more allowed social activities with the recovery movement control order.

“While the job market has been improving, Malaysia’s economy is expected to contract this year, and our path forward inherently depends on our responses today.

“Next year, the economy is expected to grow between 5.5 per cent and eight per cent, according to Bank Negara, therefore we must stay focused in stimulating the economy while keeping Covid-19 at bay.”