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      15 December 2016  

Exchange of two MoUs during the 23rd Members of SEDIA meeting

Kota Kinabalu (Thursday) - In conjunction with the 23rd Meeting of the Members of the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) held earlier today, SEDIA exchanged two MoUs, with Labuan Financial Services Authority (LFSA) and Asia Jet.

  Datuk Dr. Mohd Yaakub Johari (front, right) exchanging the Memorandum of Understanding with a representative from LFSA, as witnessed by (back, second left to right) Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin, Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman, and Datuk Peter Pang

LFSA is a Federal agency under the Ministry of Finance and is the regulatory authority for the development and administration of the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC). Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Labuan IBFC Inc Sdn Bhd, promotes and markets Labuan IBFC as the preferred international business and financial centre in Asia Pacific. Established to complement the activities of the domestic financial market in Kuala Lumpur and the development of economic activities in Labuan, the Labuan IBFC was rebranded in 2008 to be Asia Pacific's leading 'midshore' international business and financial centre.

The exchange of MoU with LFSA will mutually benefit both organisations in developing new areas of synergy through continuous business process improvement in the context of investments in the SDC, sharing of expertise, research and development, and other areas that are deemed beneficial for the development of financial services offerings.

Asia Jet was founded in 2008 and has grown to become a leading bespoke aviation service company. They have one of the fastest growing charter friendly fleets based in the region, with long-range aircraft and large cabins available for all type of needs. Asia Jet had established Asia Jet Partners Malaysia Sdn Bhd in 2015 to further develop and serve the demand in ASEAN for chartered flights, build a hub for business communities in Malaysia, and promote the local 9M registry. Having established operational bases in Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Tokyo, Asia Jet plans to spread their wings to Kota Kinabalu, providing chartered private jet services.

The exchange of MoU between Asia Jet and SEDIA is timely and in line with SDC's plan to establish an Aviation Hub and Air Freight Logistics in Sabah. The MoU will also benefit the promotion of Kota Kinabalu as a premium aviation hub for global aviation industry players to set up business, training, maintenance and repair support services in the economic cluster, as well as to provide seamless connectivity with direct flights to and from Sabah on demand basis.

The ceremony had also seen the handing over of facilitation fund cheques to two companies under TERAJU@SDC, as well as letters of approval for several fund recipients under the Sabah Bumiputera SMEs and Start-ups development fund.

During his opening address for the 23rd Meeting of the Members of SEDIA, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman expressed his optimism that 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 mounting global economic challenges. The state recorded the fastest economy growth in Malaysia in 2015, at 6.1 per cent compared to the national growth of 5.0 per cent.

"Both the national and state economies are expected to remain resilient and achieve consistent growth in 2016. For next year, Sabah's economy is expected to be fuelled by the strengthening tourism sector, as well as active export activities, domestic investment and public expenditure," he said.

Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman, who is also Finance Minister and SEDIA chairman, said as at September this year, RM158 billion worth of cumulative investments have been committed since the launch of the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) in 2008, of which RM57.68 billion have been realised. "I would also like to highlight that over RM1 billion of total cumulative investments were contributed by the various development initiatives under the TERAJU@SDC programme for Bumiputera entrepreneurs in Sabah," he said, adding that Sabah had experienced tremendous growth following the launch of the SDC.

"In the Federal Budget speech, the year 2017 was declared as the Start-ups and SMEs promotion year as these represent a force in driving the economy. I am pleased to note the Gerak IKS SDC programme has attracted overwhelming response from local SMEs. Over 8,000 potential and existing SMEs participated in Gerak IKS SDC roadshows and this programme is expected to continue in 2017.

"SEDIA has a number of programmes to support SMEs, such as the 1Agro-SAIP, SDC BizLink, HotDesk, Incubator and Accelerator Programme. It has also, through the IKS SDC roadshows, recruited about 141 participants to be groomed into successful entrepreneurs under the SDC Incubator Programme.

Musa meanwhile said the close cooperation between SEDIA, state and federal agencies and the private sector has been fruitful "and I urge all stakeholders to maintain this close cooperation in guaranteeing the successful implementation of the SDC". The Chief Minister also congratulated the chairman and members of the Audit committee and the management and staff of SEDIA for ensuring a clean bill of health by the Auditor General on financial management for the year ending 2015. - Media SEDIA

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