Sarawak to benefit from Belt and Road Initiative — CM

Posted on : 15 Jan 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Masing (third left), accompanied by UiTM Sarawak Rector Prof Dato Dr Jamil Hamali (second left) shakes hand with the participants upon his arrival. – Photo by Mohd Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Sarawak will benefit from new markets that will emerge as a result of the Belt and Road Initiative, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He believes that through this initiative there would be better access to the Chinese markets, and also those in Asean countries, the Middle East, and central and eastern European markets.

This, he added, would be profitable to developing and emerging economies as investment and trade would speed up development.

“Developing a big state like Sarawak is a formidable task. However, we are doing our best, moving as fast as possible to be on par with the rest of the country and the world.

“The Sarawak government has only one main focus, that is developing Sarawak, We are always looking for ways to provide the best infrastructure available,” he said when opening the 1st International Conference on Belt and Road at UiTM Sarawak here yesterday.

His text of his speech was read by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing.

Abang Johari said through avenues such as this conference, it would be possible for Sarawak to achieve its target.

He said there were many obstacles ahead for the Sarawak government to move the economy to greater heights and  achieve a high-income society.

“We thus need your help and your expertise. We want education institutions to help us in developing our human capital. These institutions can work with other companies or their counterparts from inside or outside the country. We can outsource available expertise and funding when necessary,” he said.

The chief minister said collaborations with foreign institutions through research and development would help Sarawak to move forward.

The Belt and Road Initiative, he added, was a significant development strategy launched by the Chinese government with the aim to promote economic cooperation among countries along the proposed ‘Belt and Road’ routes.

He said the initiative had been tailored to enhance the free-flow of economic factors in an orderly manner and ensure efficient allocation of resources as well as to intensify market integration and craft a regional economic co-operation framework for the benefit of all stakeholders.

“This will bring new opportunities to all parties encouraged by the flow of capital, goods and services between Asia and the rest of the world through market integration and the establishment of new ties among communities, building global businesses,” he said.

Abang Abang Johari believed there are a lot of untapped potentials in the ‘belt and road’ projects that could be used to develop the state’ economy.

He said through projects by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Sarawak Convention Bureau, and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research, the Sarawak government would be able to work together with stakeholders on platforms like this conference.