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      04 January 2018  

Taiwan Chamber of Commerce meets SEDIA to discuss Sabah's investment potential

Kota Kinabalu (Friday) - The Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) today received a courtesy visit from the Taiwan Hakka Chamber of Commerce. The delegation was brought to Wisma SEDIA by their friendship chapter Sabah Hakka Chamber of Commerce, and was received by a team led by SEDIA Chief Executive Datuk Dr. Mohd Yaakub Johari. The visiting delegation sought to have a discussion on business and investment opportunities available in Sabah.

  SEDIA Chief Executive Datuk Dr. Mohd Yaakub Johari (fifth from left) receiving a memento from Taiwan Hakka Chamber of Commerce President Yeh Chun-Hui

The Taiwan chamber delegation was led by President Yeh Chun-Hui as well as accompanied by Sabah Hakka Chamber of Commerce President Chong Su Leong, while also consisting of business leaders that have invested in various countries including Cambodia, Vietnam, China and also in Hong Kong. Chong explained that the current visit to Sabah was the culmination of several discussions he had with Yeh in China. Yeh further added that the delegation's businesses began as far back as three decades earlier and concentrated heavily in China, and that they are now seeking to expand the second generation of these business efforts. They remarked that with more than five million Hakka people in Taiwan, in addition to the Hakka in China, they recognised Sabah as an enticing prospect for investment, given the sizeable local Hakka community.

The delegation informed that Taiwan is advanced in the agriculture, manufacturing, and health sectors, as well as in the elderly wellness industry. Members of the delegation were keen to invest in Sabah's agriculture and tourism sector; they wanted to know more about regulations, as well as land and energy policies. A member of the delegation was also keen to meet with existing local hoteliers for possible collaboration.

As SEDIA is the One-Stop Authority for the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC), they were keen to also hear about investment incentives. During the discussion, Datuk Dr. Yaakub introduced the delegation to the regional approach for investment incentives as offered under the SDC, which differ from the sectoral tax incentives generally offered throughout Malaysia. Under SDC, investors are eligible for 100 percent tax exemption for a period up to ten years, available for specific regions or clusters as specified under SDC Strategic Development Areas (SDAs). They were also made aware of SDAs such as the Palm Oil Industrial Clusters for palm oil activities, as well as Kinabalu Gold Coast Enclave for tourism.

The Sabah Development Corridor was launched on January 29, 2008 during the Ninth Malaysia Plan as one of Malaysia's five regional economic corridors, with the aim to accelerate the growth of Sabah's economy, promote regional balance and bridge the urban-rural divide, while ensuring sustainable management of state resources. This was followed by the establishment of SEDIA, through the adoption of Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority Enactment 2009 on January 15, 2009. The Enactment was assented by the Tuan Yang Terutama Negeri Sabah on February 23, 2009, and gazetted on February 26, 2009. Through the enactment, SEDIA is vested with the necessary power to serve as a decision-making and execution institution that is tasked with realising the SDC vision and mission, by being the One-Stop Authority to plan, coordinate, promote and accelerate the development of SDC.

Since the commencement of the Second Phase of SDC in 2011, SEDIA has been aggressively promoting investment into SDC. The introduction of SDC has no doubt created greater awareness on investment opportunities in Malaysia's second largest state. Unlike other development corridors in Malaysia, SDC - an 18-year economic development programme - covers the whole state of Sabah. The corridor initiative uses a regional development approach to ensure economic development benefits everyone in the state. Subsequent to the launching of SDC, SEDIA has been promoting Sabah, under the SDC investment tagline, "A preferred destination for business, culture and nature". With the advantages that Sabah has to offer, SEDIA has managed to attract tremendous interest amongst local and foreign investors into Sabah.

Measures implemented under SDC have clearly succeeded in drawing investments into Sabah. By the second quarter of 2018, SDC recorded RM166.33 billion of cumulative committed investments. Investments in SDC have clearly gained traction that, by 2017, Sabah recorded annual GDP growth at 8.2 percent, the fastest in Malaysia, overtaking all the other states in Malaysia and surpassing the national average at 5.9 percent, as reported by the Department of Statistics (DOS). The DOS observed that the rapid economic growth was driven by major government initiatives especially the implementations of SDC projects.

- Media SEDIA

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