Total of 1.5 mln jobs by 2030

Today, in this second and final part of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s speech at the launching of the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 on Thursday, he highlights, among others, the important role played by the services and manufacturing sectors in creating a total of 1.5 million jobs – including 200,000 high-paying posts – by 2030.

The six economic sectors upon which the PCDS 2030 is anchored on — manufacturing, commercial agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining, and social services — will be supported by seven enablers:

•       Digital transformation,

•       Innovation,

•       Basic infrastructure,

•       Transport,

•       Utilities,

•       Renewable energy, and

•       Education and human capital development.

 

Key enablers

Digital transformation is the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses. Sarawak’s digital transformation will empower Sarawak economic sectors to increase its efficiencies and productivity. The initiatives include digitalisation of private sector economy through Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain technologies.  The efforts will be further supported by digitalisation of public service delivery and infrastructure. At the same time, Sarawak will build the digital economy ecosystem to attract new industries focusing on international standard data centres, digital content creation and boosting digital innovation and entrepreneurship for digital start-ups.

Innovation is key towards driving Sarawak’s economic growth and prosperity. Hence, innovation across Sarawak’s key economic sectors will enhance productivity, develop new solutions and products for domestic and export markets. Leveraging on Sarawak’s natural resources, innovation will focus on developing R&D capabilities and commercial applications aligned to biotechnology, digital applications and renewable energy. Innovation ecosystem development such as Bio-industrial Park, Digital Testbed and Living Labs, Bio-Hub Port and Venture Capital Funds will attract the private sector to invest in R&D in Sarawak.

Sarawak’s basic infrastructure development will be the driving force for socio-economic growth.  Efforts will be focused towards providing reliable access to social and economic hubs to meet the short-term needs and preparing the foundation for future growth. The infrastructure development will also provide new opportunities and unlock economic potentials especially in the rural areas, hence promoting inclusive development.

The major initiatives are the development of:

•       Second Trunk Road,

•       Coastal road network,

•       Urban road expansions,

•       Deep sea ports, and

•       Free (Industrial) zones around deep-sea ports.

It is strategically important that Sarawak continue to provide transportation connection to key economic centres efficiently and effectively using low emission technology and adoption of digital solutions. With better mobility and transportation options, the productivity level will increase and open the opportunities for Sarawakians to have access to quality jobs in business centres and economic hubs such as Industrial Parks, plantation areas and tourism spots.

The major initiatives include development of:

•       Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS),

•       Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART),

•       Terminal expansions of Kuching and Sibu airports,

•       International flights connectivity, and

•       Installation of Aids to Navigation (ATON).

The utility sector is an enabler to catalyse the state’s socio-economic development. Hence, Sarawak’s utility development aims to ensure that the services are provided equitably in a reliable, economical, safe and sustainable manner. The key initiatives for utility development in the state are water and electricity supply projects to achieve 100 percent coverage, development of Pan Sarawak Gas Pipeline to promote industrial development, and Single Water Entity to improve efficiency.

Sarawak aspires to become a regional powerhouse through affordable, reliable and renewable energy, contributing to sustainable growth and prosperity. Aligned to this aspiration, Sarawak will maintain at least 60% of its generation capacity mix from renewable sources and generate 15% of renewable energy sector income from foreign markets. Public-private collaboration towards expanding renewable energy generation as well as in promoting exports of renewable energy and related services will be intensified.

Among the initiatives to promote renewable energy are:

•       Sarawak hydrogen economy,

•       50MW Floating Solar,

•       Mini hydro projects, and

•       Electric vehicles.

Education is a critical component of human capital development to increase efficiency of workers and help economies to move up the value chain. The establishment of strategic partnership with industries and stakeholders will prepare our human capital to match Sarawak’s current and future job requirements as well as to address disparity in quality education. The key initiatives include the formation of the Human Capital Development Council and strengthening the Sarawak Workforce Information System (SWIS) to identify and close the workforce demand-supply gap, establishment of Science Centre to cultivate and increase interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and development of five International Schools to cater for bright rural students.

IMPACT

Economic prosperity

The development of six economic sectors which is supported by seven enablers will position Sarawak as an attractive investment destination.  This will increase value and quality of investment in Sarawak. The value from private investment to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will increase from RM21.0 billion in 2020 to RM61.5 billion in 2030 or an increase of 11.2% per annum. The share of private investment to GDP in 2030 will be 21.9%.

Through quality investment, Sarawak will shift its economic structure with higher contributions from the services and manufacturing sectors by 2030.  The services sector’s contribution to Sarawak GDP will increase from 34.7% in 2020 to 38.9% in 2030 while the manufacturing sector’s contribution will increase from 26.8% in 2020 to 29.0% in 2030. At the same time, Sarawak will continue to develop and modernise the primary sector to increase productivity to support the high value manufacturing activities such as oleochemical, food processing, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, hydrogen and metal-based products. This will complement the growth in the services sector such as transport and logistics, financial and legal services as well as design and creative services.

Through these initiatives, an additional 200,000 high-paying jobs will be generated making the total employment of 1.5 million by 2030, thus increase income and standards of living and opportunities for our youths to secure high income jobs with pathways for their career advancement.

The education and human capital development initiatives, namely skills development training will ensure that our people are equipped with the right skills to grab the jobs created to increase their income. As such, the monthly median household income is projected to increase from RM4,544 in 2019 to RM15,047 in 2030.

Social inclusivity

Social inclusivity will be enhanced by narrowing urban and rural development gap with greater urban rural economic integration, capacity building and community participation for sustainable development.

Greater urban rural economic integration will be achieved with robust infrastructure development such as road accessibility and digital connectivity that provide greater access to capital and investment facilities for commercial economic activities for domestic and export markets.

Capacity building for the community will be supported by human capital development programmes and projects such as education and health services, skills and training programmes as well as business, entrepreneurship and talent development initiatives.

With greater access to market and capital coupled with capacity building programmes, the community will participate actively in commercial agriculture, tourism, mining, forestry, renewable energy, manufacturing, services and e-Commerce activities.

Sustainable development will be achieved with the combination of all these initiatives where the community will have sustainable income generation that will improve their standard of living as a result of efficient resources management.

Environmental sustainability

Sarawak’s environmental sustainability will be further enhanced through the development of the Sarawak Sustainable Environment Blueprint. The blueprint will cover both the green and blue economy initiatives.

Green economy covers all economic activities on land. The state will develop Green House Gases (GHG) inventory for all economic sectors and cities to identify the major contributors to GHG emissions in order to formulate Green Economy initiatives.

Blue Economy covers all economic activities in ocean and coastal areas. The state will develop Blue Economy Index to provide input and indicators for the formulation of the initiatives.

The Green and Blue Economy initiatives will provide a comprehensive and holistic Sarawak Sustainable Environment Blueprint covering amongst others, climate action, forestry, financing, water and land use, green cities and mobility, resilient infrastructure, sustainable energy, circular economy and integrated watershed management.

The blueprint, which will map out our strategies to build a sustainable, resource-efficient and climate-resilient state, is to be enforced and implemented by the enforcement agencies through intensified data collection and digitalisation.

THE WAY FORWARD

The first phase of PCDS 2030 will be implemented under the 12th Malaysia Plan, 2021-2025. The target under 12MP and the PCDS 2021-2030 is for the economy to grow at an average of 6.0% to 8.0% per annum.

The Sarawak government has committed an estimated RM63 billion to implement PCDS 2030 under the 12MP whereby, RM30 billion will come from direct development expenditure and RM33 billion from alternative funding.  Through this creative financial modelling and revenue reengineering, we will continue to enjoy a healthy fiscal position.

In line with the strategic thrusts of the PCDS 2030, the public capital spending will be on areas that yield the most economic, social and environmental impact. Our focus is to develop the enablers such as basic infrastructure, namely roads and bridges, treated water and electricity supply and telecommunication network.

This will provide the foundation for us to leap frog into the second phase of PCDS 2030 development, which is driven by talent, skills and innovation.

This plan is really to prosper the state, its people and to protect its environment for sustainable development.

But the government cannot do this alone. We need all Sarawakians to translate commitment into daily action, and drive sustainability on the ground. The government can set the policies, but the energy to bring about concrete change must come from all of us – business leaders who want to produce their goods and services in a more resilient and sustainable way, parents who wish to leave behind a better world for their children; every one of us have our part to play.

I am optimistic about the plan and I believe your commitment will make it happen. I can assure you that with the mandate given to the GPS government, more development will be enjoyed by the rakyat. Therefore, let us work together for a brighter future for Sarawak.

On the short-term assistance to SMEs based on the views expressed by the various chambers of commerce, the state government is in the process of finalising the details and it will be announced soon.

On behalf of the state government, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the civil service, all chambers of commerce, Sheda, academics, professional organisations, and all parties who have provided input in the process of formulating this post-Covid strategy.

With that, I have the pleasure to officially launch the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030.