Sarawak will thrive with data, innovation

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: The future is not all bleak for Sarawak following the economic uncertainties brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said he believed Sarawak would be a thriving economy driven by data and innovation where its people enjoy economic prosperity, social inclusivity and a sustainable environment by 2030.

“The Sarawak vision is indeed ambitious, but with careful planning and hard work, I am confident (we can achieve it),” he said when chairing the Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC) meeting on Thursday.

He said, SEAC would dive down into the initiatives and projects required based on the framework developed previously.

“As you develop the initiatives, I would ask you not to lose sight of the peoples’ needs and aspirations. Please continue your collaborative efforts and enter into the next stage with an open mind and be ready to contribute your insights and knowledge.

“Together we will be able to lay the foundation needed for Sarawak and its people to start moving towards our 2030 vision,” he added.

The Chief Minister said, among the end goals of SEAC was not only to grow Sarawak’s gross domestic product (GDP), but also how the growth would be translated to every Sarawakian.

“We want to significantly increase the average household income from the current RM5,000 to RM16,000 per month,” he said, adding that changes needed to be made to the current way of doing things.

“The focus will be on lifting existing productivity levels significantly across all sectors of the economy through adoption of technology and innovation. We envisage our exports will increase about three times.

“We will be less reliant on liquefied natural gas (LNG) export. But will move up the value chain to produce high value-added petrochemical or finished goods.

“For agriculture, we will export high value food products instead of primary agricultural produce. Our target is to turn the current food trade deficit of RM3 billion to a net surplus,” he added.

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