Sarawak delegation woos HK investors
By CHAN KIN SANG
SARAWAK, the largest of Malaysia's 13 states, is ready to vie for foreign investment, its chief minister Abdul Taib bin Mahmud said yesterday.
Mr Abdul Taib said that if a Hong Kong company had asked him five years ago whether Sarawak could help it to develop a 1,000-acre industrial park, he would have hesitated to say yes.
''The answer today would be yes. We have developed the policies, the machineries and the main infrastructure, such as communications and roads to help the foreign investor.'' The chief minister was in Hong Kong yesterday with a trade delegation to promote business opportunities in the state.
He said that besides its good infrastructure and cheap land and labour, Sarawak's biggest strengths were in its rich mineral reserves and hydro-power, which have only partially been tapped.
Sarawak is building one of the largest dams in the world and Mr Abdul Taib said most of the technical and environmental needs of the project had been resolved.
He said the state would like to see Hong Kong investors help develop its eco-tourism sector.
''We are not interested in 'jet-set' tourism. But eco-tourism is our strength given our large tracts of jungles, parks, rivers and beaches, which have attracted tourists.'' He said foreign investment in the sector was presently restricted to the Japanese.
Mr Abdul Taib said the state had successfully developed its first resource-based industries and was now ready to develop industries catering to technically competent people.