Sabah Manufacturing Sector To Post Slower Growth

KOTA KINABALU, April 16 (Bernama) — The Sabah
manufacturing sector is expected to register a slower growth this year
and next year following investors’ cautious stand due to the gloomy
global economic climate, Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah
said today.

“From 2009 to 2010 is a very challenging period for the industrial sector throughout the world including Malaysia.

“The impact is beginning to be felt with the drop in applications for manufacturing projects in Sabah.

“There were only 11 applications in the first three months of this year
compared to 17 in the same period last year,” he said in his policy
address when opening the state legislative assembly sitting today.

Ahmadshah said the manufacturing sector contributed 11 per cent, the
third biggest contributor to the state gross domestic product in 2006,
with an average nine per cent growth a year between 2002 and 2006.

He however said programmes and development projects for the sector
planned under the Ninth Malaysia Plan and Sabah Development Corridor to
be implemented in these two years would be able to stimulate continued
economic growth.

For instance, he said, the state government would establish the
Sepanggar SME Park near the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park which would
be developed into a food industry hub.

Ahmadshah said the state government through the state economic planning
unit and state industrial development ministry were working with the
Halal Development Corporation to turn Sepangar SME Park as one of the
best models of the Halal Industrial Park next year.

He said a study would be conducted to draw up a masterplan for an
orderly and integrated development of a halal hub in the state.

Ahmadshah said tourism revenue would also take a beating, declining to RM3.90 billion this year from RM4.09 billion last year.

However, the drop in tourist arrivals is expected to be only marginal
at three per cent from 701,198 recorded last year due to various “value
for money” tourism attractions in Sabah than in other countries, he

Ahmadshah also expressed gratitude to God as the state government could still manage to avert a serious workers’ retrenchment.

The State Manpower Department statistics showed only 324 people
from 41 companies in the manufacturing, agriculture, hotel and
restaurant sectors were laid off between August last year and March
this year.

Only 244 employees from three companies were subjected to pay cuts, he added.

The assembly was adjourned to Monday.