Despite the ongoing pandemic situation, the Regional Corridor Development Authority (RECODA) continues its efforts to attract investment into manufacturing hubs while facilitating and assisting existing investors.
One of the key initiatives by RECODA, aside from implementing infrastructure and socio-economic projects, is its after-care programme.
“I have to admit here that because of the pandemic, it is very difficult to go abroad for our investment promotion,” said RECODA CEO Datu Ismawi Ismuni during an online symposium on Sarawak economic growth policies organised by RHB Bank today.
“So it is important for us to take care of our investors here now. That is why we have our after-care programme to look after investors, especially the investments in the Samalaju Industrial Park,” he said, adding that RECODA works closely with the Samalaju Investors Industrial Association Bintulu (SIIAB).
Also speaking were Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Chairman Tan Sri Dr Amar Haji Abdul Aziz and Sarawak Economic Planning Unit (EPU) director Dr Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel.
Ismawi said RECODA is collaborating with various agencies for training and upskilling programmes to cater for investors’ workers requirements, while also encouraging reinvestment into the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).
“Many of our investors now are having expansion plans, which will also require more energy. Apart from their reinvestment plans, we are also sitting with them and thinking of attracting more investment in downstream activities, which will require less energy,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ismawi spoke of the need to continue the government commitment to further development manufacturing hubs such as the Samalaju Industrial Park (SIP).
“It is successful in terms of private and public investment, with a total of RM31 billion, which is not a small amount. In terms of employment, there are easily more than 12,000 people and this has not factored in the latest plant by Wenan Steel from China, which brings in another additional 4,000 workers.”
“We are undergoing a rebranding exercise, where an industrial park is a place where people need to live and enjoy themselves. This is why it is important for us to make sure that SIP has a conducive living environment,” Ismawi said.
He added that investor incentives can be further fine-tuned through the collaboration of government departments such as the Ministry of Finance and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).
Meanwhile, Ismawi also spoke on the third phase of the SCORE implementation, which involves the establishment of the three regional development agencies beginning 2017, which are the Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA), Highland Development Agency (HDA) and the Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA).
“We have been successful in terms of Samalaju Industrial Park, but the whole idea now is that we need to spread development in the SCORE areas and we need to spur development potentials in other areas besides SIP.
“The reason why we have these three development agencies is we would like to be more focused, each of these areas have their own potentials and strengths and different approaches to bring investment into these areas.
“What is common is that three areas are still lagging behind in terms of infrastructure and amenities and before we can attract investors it is very important for us to develop the physical infrastructure so that the investors can come to these areas with better transportation and logistical support.”
Aside from investment promotion, RECODA is implementing 275 Federal and State Government projects worth a total of RM15.6 billion.