Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sarawak tops FDI list in 2008

Sarawak has attracted the highest level of foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the country over the past year.

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan said Sarawak topped the list after it successfully secured investments worth RM12bil from multinational companies for the construction of aluminium smelter plants in the Bintulu division.

“Our ministry has gone to many countries to promote Malaysia as a destination for FDIs.

“We have found that the most important thing foreign investors look for when they want to venture into high technology sectors is abundant electricity and energy supply.

“Sarawak has become so attractive to the investors because the state has the capacity to generate a lot of electricity, especially with the power generation projects to be implemented for Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE),” he said at a gathering with reporters yesterday.

The two aluminium smelter plants will be built in the Similajau Industrial Estate at the outskirts of Bintulu town, some 200km from here.

Several multinational companies from South America, the Middle East, China and Australia have indicated their interest in taking part in the project, which will be a joint venture with local companies.

The two giant smelters will be located within the SCORE belt and will source their energy from the Bakun hydro-electric dam and others to be built within the vicinity.

Sagan, who is also Baram MP, said Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad had already directed the departments and agencies under his purview to help Sabah and Sarawak catch up with Peninsula Malaysia in terms of development.

The ministry, he said, had also stepped up its promotion overseas and introduced schemes and incentives to lure more foreign manufacturers.

Sagan added that more Malaysian products, especially those from Sabah and Sarawak, would be marketed overseas.