‘43 pct growth in export value from park’

Posted on : 25 Jan 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari signs the plaque after the launch. Seen from left are Julaihi, Naroden, Malcolm (behind), Awang Tengah, Huh and others. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: Sama Jaya High Tech Park has generated enormous socio-economic benefits for Sarawak, having reached RM4.6 billion in total exports last year.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who pointed this out yesterday, said the figure represented a 43 per cent growth in export value against RM3.2 billion in 2017.

“Cumulative investments by multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in Sama Jaya have exceeded RM12 billion. The annual salaries paid to the workforce in Sama Jaya alone stood at RM460 million last year.

“This has created many multiplier effects to our local economy such as demand for food, housing, transportation, retail and entertainment,” he said when launching Iljin Materials Kuching Plant at Sama Jaya High Tech Park here.

Abang Johari said 11,800 job opportunities had been created in the park – 98.9 taken up by locals and almost 10 per cent of them are engineers.

“I am happy that the MNCs here are committed to recruiting local Sarawakians and I hope you will continue to give priority to the local workforce and our SMEs so that we can prosper together.

“And at the same time, Sarawakians can also benefit from technology and knowledge transfer,” he said.

He said he was informed that piling works for the plant started on Jan 14 last year and the RM400-million Phase I was completed within 12 months.

He expressed confidence that production would commence in the first quarter of this year as scheduled.

“I congratulate Iljin Materials for the successful implementation of this elecfoil project here in Sama Jaya High Tech Park with incredible speed.

“I am sure that the remaining phases would also be completed in the same speedy manner,” he enthused.

The Chief Minister said Sarawak is proud to be associated with Iljin, the South Korean and world leader in the manufacturer of elecfoil, which is very thin copper foil for making printed circuit board (PCB).

“Very soon we’ll have elecfoil used in smart phones such as Samsung and electric vehicles such as BMW, GM, Jaguar, Volkswagen, Benz and Porsche that are manufactured in Kuching. I mean the elecfoil they use.”

Abang Johari thanked Iljin for having chosen Sarawak as its first overseas investment location, saying this clearly “reflects Sarawak’s standing as a preferred investment destination among the many possible locations within Malaysia and the region”.

“I am proud that our industrialisation policy has yielded good results as more and more investors are coming in to invest in Sarawak.

“Sarawak needs more FDI (foreign direct investment) and DDI (domestic direct investment) to propel its economic growth. We have abundant natural resources, abundant renewable energy and a big land mass that must be tapped to strengthen the economy,” he added.

He said the state’s manufacturing sector must move towards smart manufacturing, employing robotics and automation to remain competitive in an increasingly challenging business environment.

He noted that X-FAB (analogue/mixed-signal semiconductor foundry) and LONGi (solar ingot, wafer, cells and module producer) are embarking on programmes to adopt Industry 4.0 for their operations in Sarawak.

“Soon, Sama Jaya will have the Digital Village and possibly a Data Centre as part of our Digital Economy Initiative.”

Pointing out that Sarawak needs more skilled and talented workforce as it industrialises, he said the state will continue its efforts to develop human talents to nurture creativity, innovation and technopreneurship to drive itself towards high-income economy through digital economy platforms.

Among those present were Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Assistant Minister of E-Commerce Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais, Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Assistant Minister of Industries and Investment Malcolm Mussen, former prime minister of Republic of Korea Kim Kwang Sik and Iljin Group chairman Huh Chin Kyu.