KOTA KINABALU – Sabah will be able to sustain its economic growth at a moderate pace of at least four to 4.5 per cent next year amid the mounting global economic challenges, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
Musa, who is also Sabah Finance Minister, said last year the state recorded 6.1 per cent growth compared to the nation’s five per cent, making it the state with the fastest economic growth in the country.
“For next year, Sabah’s economy is expected to be fuelled by the growing tourism sector as well as active export activities, domestic investment and public expenditure,” he said at the 23rd meeting of the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) here Thursday.
Musa, who is also SEDIA chairman, said in the first nine months of this year, tourist arrivals from China rose by 46.3 per cent, South Korea (45.2) and Taiwan (26.8).
The figures from Australia and UK were encouraging, he said.
As a whole, he said, the sector was showing signs of recovery with international arrivals had increased by 14.2 per cent in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period last year.
“The proposed RM3.78 billion next year will help boost development. Also, the 2017 federal budget will see the upgrading of infrastructure such as the Pan Borneo Highway, native customary land mapping and upgrading of Eastern Sabah Security Command,” Musa said.
He said SEDIA has many programmes to support small and medium enterprises.
Among them were 1Agro-SAIP, SDC BizLink, Hot Desk, Incubator and Accelerator Programme, he said.
“The roadshows undertaken by SEDIA had recruited about 141 participants to be groomed into successful entrepreneurs under the Incubator Programme,” he said.