Source: The Star Online
Sarawak could have inflows of several new investments worth billions of ringgit once approvals are given by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida).
More than 10 proposed investments worth a few billion ringgit are in the process of negotiation, according to Mida executive director (manufacturing development (resource) Mohamad Ismail Abu Bakar.
“These investments will go into Sarawak. We expect more investments coming into Sarawak in the second half 2019, ” he said.
However, he did not provide details on the type of investments and investors when he presented a paper entitled “Energy and Industry – Driving Future Growth in Sarawak” at the 2019 Sarawak Investment and Business Summit here recently.
In the first half 2019 (1H2019), approved investments in Sarawak totalled US$8bil, of which two-thirds were foreign.
Mohamad said Sarawak had been a preferred investment destination in Malaysia due to its strategic location and abundant water and power supplies needed by industries.Among the latest mega investments in Samalaju Industrial Park, Bintulu that leverages on the competitive hydro power, is a steel mill project of which construction will commence next year.
The RM17bil steel plant project that involves investors from China will have an annual production capacity of 10 million tonnes – said to be the region’s biggest when operational.
On major companies operating in Sarawak, Mohamad said they included Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd (South-East Asia’s largest aluminium smelter), LONGi (world’s largest maker of solar-grade monocrystalline silicon products), OCIM (South Korean manufacturer of polycrystalline silicon) and X-Fab (German manufacturer of silicon wafers).
Other energy-intensive industries operating in Samalaju Industrial Park within Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) are OM Materials (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, Sakura Ferroalloys Sdn Bhd and Pertama Ferroalloys Sdn Bhd, which are involved in the production of ferrosilicon and manganese alloys.According to Mida E-Newsletter (August 2019 issue), the expansion of LONGi Technology (Kuching) from China is among the notable high technology projects approved by Mida in 1H2019.
LONGi is expanding its capacity to produce monocrystalline solar cells to meet demand in overseas markets.
Score, which is one of the five economic corridors in Malaysia, has approved 24 projects with private investments of about RM39.9bil, according to Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) chief executive officer Datuk Ismawi Ismuni.
Ismawi, who was the other speaker at the summit, said the seven key investors/industries in Samalaju currently generate monthly spin-off of economic activities worth RM506mil into Bintulu.
In 1H2019, Malaysia sustained its investment growth momentum, recording total investments of about RM92bil in the services, manufacturing and primary sectors.
Mida data showed that approved foreign investments in these sectors jumped by 97.2% to RM49.5bil from RM25.1bil a year ago while approved domestic investments totalled RM42.5bil.
Mohamad said since 2016, China had emerged as one of the top investors in Malaysia.
“About 80% of Mida approved projects are implemented. Japan ranks No. 1 on implemented projects, ” he added.