KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has great investment opportunities just waiting to be fully discovered, said Deputy Chief Minister cum Industrial Development Minister Datuk Dr. Joachim Gunsalam.
“I have known many successful businessmen, who have come from Peninsular Malaysia as early as in the 1970s. Some of them came as employees and started small businesses when they first arrived in Sabah.
“Over the years they have made it as successful entrepreneurs and stayed on to make Sabah their home. I say this because this is proof of Sabah’s potential as an investment and business destination,” he said at a Business Networking Dinner organised by Small and Medium Enterprise Association of Sabah (SME Sabah) at Port View Palace Hall Likas here on Monday night.
The event was attended by 250 SMEs from over 20 trade associations in Sabah to seek business matching opportunities with 60 delegates from Peninsular Malaysia.
Today (June 7) there will be briefings on the investment opportunities by the various agencies under the Industrial Development Ministry (MID) at Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here. A similar briefing has also been arranged with the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry on June 8.
Saying the event augurs well with the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) 1.0 (2021 – 2025) development plan which focuses on three primary economic sectors namely agriculture, industrial and tourism, as well as human capital and wellbeing of the people, and green infrastructure and sustainability networks, Dr. Joachim said Sabah is often referred to as an unpolished gem and waiting to be discovered.
“Here beautiful scenic tourism spots have already reached worldwide attention and Sabah is a very popular tourist destination for China and Korean tourists.
“But the potential downstream opportunities utilising Sabah’s abundance of natural resources such as timber, oil and gas, seafood and agricultural produce have yet to be known widely.
“So be the early birds and go grab the opportunities after you have listened to the briefing organised by MID and Invest Sabah Bhd (ISB) tomorrow.
“Make your assessments and decisions quickly so as to be able to get the best deal with the best pricing and resources for your production and the best local partners for your joint ventures.
“ISB is a one stop centre to facilitate investments in Sabah from inception to operations. Even post operations if there is any need for further assistance, investors can still reach out to ISB,” he said.
Congratulating SME Sabah Founder cum President Prof Foo Ngee Kee, who was also present, and his association for the success in organising the event, Dr. Joachim said SME Sabah would have helped the Sabah Government in its efforts to develop the Sabah economy and creating jobs and business opportunities for Sabahans.
“I am certain that many business relationships, collaborations and joint ventures can be founded from the business networking opportunities created tonight by the SMEs from Peninsular Malaysia meeting the SMEs from Sabah, including some who come from far away Tawau, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Keningau, Ranau and other parts of Sabah,” said Dr. Joachim.
Also present were Sabah Economic Advisory Council (SEAC) Chairman and Council member, Tan Sri David Chu and Datuk John Lo Thau Fah; POIC Chairman Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee; Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, Datuk Dr. Roland Chia; Permanent Secretary of MID Thomas logijin, his Deputy Benedick Bisoni; and the Presidents of all SME branches.