KUCHING, Sarawak, Malaysia, January 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Sarawak's economy has grown by approximately 5.4% in 2010 exceeding predictions made in May of a 4.5% increase. The growth is the result of several major infrastructure projects the government is implementing as part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) project, which will develop a vast area of 230km and build industry in five key areas in Sarawak by 2030; government initiatives to develop rural areas and investment in the utilities.
Sarawak has undergone significant economic transformation under the leadership of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and is steadily moving towards achieving 'developed' nation status by 2020. The Chief Minister has succeeded in transforming Sarawak from a state dependent on subsistence farming to a modern industrialised region, emerging as a major economic player in South East Asia.
Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud said: "In order to ensure sustainable growth, we need to widen our economic perspective and diversify our economy so that we are not dependent on traditional economic activities. The transformation of the State economy is no longer an exercise to restructure the traditional economic sectors such as timber and agro-based industries. Instead, we are increasing value-added activities of timber and agriculture products such as transport and communications. Most importantly, the transformation must involve the creation of new sources of economic growth."
The manufacturing, construction, mining/quarrying, agriculture and services sectors have all recorded impressive growth in 2010:
The manufacturing sector is expected to achieve 4.5% growth in 2010, after experiencing a contraction of 0.1% in 2009. The growth is in tandem with the surge in global demand, particularly for Sarawak's LNG and wood-based products. Exports of manufactured goods recorded double-digit growth in the first half of this year at 21.6%. Manufacturing is expected to grow by 4.5% in 2011.
The construction sector growth is predicted at 6.5% in 2010, helped by the RM1.0 billion Special Federal Allocations and the construction of projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, including the new Sabah-Sarawak gas pipeline and the Murum hydro-electric dam. Construction for the Tenth Malaysia Plan is expected to expand this sector by 6% in 2011.
The mining and quarrying sector forecast is 3.2% growth in 2010 with increased production for natural gas, coal and silica sand in the first half of the year. The production of natural gas grew by 17.4% arising from increased demand from domestic petro-chemical industries and major importing countries. The sector is expected to grow at 3.0% in 2011.
The agriculture sector is expected to reach 5.2% growth in 2010 as a result of the rebound in commodity prices and improved global demand. The production of crude palm oil grew by 7.8% during the first half of 2010. In 2011, the agriculture sector is anticipated to grow more slowly at 4.3% as global demand is expected to soften during the year.
The services sector is expected to grow by 7.2% in 2010 with robust trading activities. For the first half of 2010, cargo-related activities at ports in Sarawak increased by 11.6% compared to the second half of the previous year. The air transport segment grew as passenger volumes for all principal airports state-wide rose by an average of 9.5% and the air cargo handled increased by 23.1% during the same period. Expected growth for this sector in 2011 is 6.4%.
SOURCE Asia Newswire