Labuan’s Sluggish Economy Needs Help, Says Deputy Minister

LABUAN: Labuan, which has the potential to be a business destination, needs more attention in order to develop its economy, says Mohd Hatta Md Ramli, deputy minister for entrepreneur development.

Although Labuan is known as an international financial centre and for its oil and gas industry, the island’s economy was still sluggish, he said at a meeting with Labuan business leaders here.

“Various issues pertaining to the economy, cost of living and prices of goods have been brought to my attention, and definitely these issues need to be attended to,” he said.

MOHD HATTA MD RAMLI

Mohd Hatta said Labuan is just like Langkawi, and whatever is developed in Langkawi can also be developed in Labuan as well as Pangkor.

“The duty-free status is to maximise whatever is available for local residents and can be enjoyed by visitors,” he said, pointing out that whatever is planned for a duty-free island should also be able to be enjoyed by other duty-free islands be they Pangkor, Labuan or Tioman.

He urged entrepreneurs to do business together for the sake of the nation’s economic stability and not be involved in business activities that create racial disharmony, citing an online campaign by a small group of people to boycott products over race and religion.

Mohd Hatta also stressed that his ministry will always assist small and medium enterprises, noting that they contribute over 38 per cent to gross domestic product.