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Hajiji wants SEDIA to collaborate with strategic agencies to develop new sources of economic growth for Sabah

TUARAN: The Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, has instructed the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) to partner with key government agencies like the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, as well as private organisations, in order to foster the growth of fresh economic opportunities for Sabah.

“We must be able to make a paradigm shift in the state’s socio-economic development process,” he said while chairing the SEDIA meeting at the Rumpun Bajau Samah Cultural Center in Lok Batik here today.

Hajiji, who is also the chairman of SEDIA, said it is time for Sabah to no longer rely on existing economic resources such as palm oil, oil and gas, and rubber to diversify its economic resources.

“We must fully leverage research, development, and commercialization activities,” he said.

According to statistics from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), Sabah’s main exports in 2022 were palm oil worth RM21.1 billion; while Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) was RM5.2 billion; crude oil RM30 billion; and palm kernel oil RM3.1 billion, with other exports including various raw or processed goods valued at RM3.5 billion.

Hajiji also suggested that research centres in Sabah play a role in developing knowledge, encouraging innovation, producing high-value products, and having trade value, which can improve the state’s trade balance.

“There are more than 21 research centres in this state. We can utilise their research to develop downstream activities in Sabah,” he said.

Hajiji hopes that the results of research conducted by SEDIA, whether completed, ongoing, or planned, can be fully utilised by relevant government agencies.

Some of these studies include the Revitalisation of Tourism Development in Mesilau; Revitalization of Poring Hot Springs Center, Ranau; SDC-Economic Development Study at the Sabah Border; SDC-Master Economic Plan and Business Planning for POIC Sandakan; SDC-Master Plan and Business Plan for the Free Economic Zone, Logistics Hub, and Cold Storage Depot at POIC Lahad Datu; and the Master Plan Study for the Food Valley in Interior Sabah.

“I want all the findings and results from these studies to be used by various parties not only as a basis for recommending development projects but also as a reference for investors from within and outside the country,” he said.

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