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      18 September 2018  

Investors from Thailand keen to explore opportunities in the oil palm and timber sectors in SDC

Kota Kinabalu (Tuesday) - The Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) today received a courtesy visit at Wisma SEDIA by the Thailand Board of Investment (TBOI). The delegation, led by TBOI Director in the Thai Overseas Investment Promotion Division Orapin Swadpanich, was welcomed by SEDIA Chief Executive Datuk Dr. Mohd Yaakub Johari, and was given a briefing on Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) programmes and initiatives..

  SEDIA Chief Executive Datuk Dr. Mohd Yaakub Johari (fourth from left) presents a memento to the head of the Thailand Board of Investment delegation, Orapin Swadpanich, who is the Director in the Thai Overseas Investment Promotion Division

The visit to SEDIA, which also included several investors from Thailand, is part of a longer mission to explore opportunities along the route of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). TBOI is responsible for promoting investment into Thailand, as well as introducing Thai investors to potential investment locations in the region. The discussion between the delegation and SEDIA covered the investment climate and prospects in Sabah, as well as investment opportunities, facilities and incentives available.

One of the Thai investors was keen to participate in palm oil activities, to which Datuk Dr. Mohd Yaakub Johari informed the delegation of Sabah's two palm oil industrial clusters, located in Lahad Datu and Sandakan. An investor that was interested in timber activities was also introduced to the idea of establishing timber downstream products within the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park, with its ideal location close to the Sapangar Bay Container Port. Additionally, the delegation were eager to know of the tax incentive packages available for specific regions as specified under SDC Strategic Development Areas, whereby investors are eligible for 100 percent tax exemption for a period up to ten years.

This had been the first visit to Sabah for TBOI Director Swadpanich, and she expressed her eagerness for continued and more in-depth discussion with SEDIA. Orapin Swadpanich suggested that Sabah could gain from direct connectivity with Thailand, and that further discussions could encourage freer flow of human traffic between Sabah and Thailand. The TBOI Director also mentioned the possibility of introducing Thailand's preserved fruit products into Sabah.

Over past years, SEDIA has received several delegations from Thailand, the earliest being Ambassador H.E. Thana Duangratana in 2010. His Excellency had also led another delegation to Wisma SEDIA in 2012, which was also attended by Minister Songsak Saicheua, Deputy Head of Mission; and Mr Montry Nathananan, First Secretary for Economic Affairs.

The Sabah Development Corridor was launched on January 29, 2008 during the Ninth Malaysia Plan as one of Malaysia's five regional economic corridors, with the aim to accelerate the growth of Sabah's economy, promote regional balance and bridge the urban-rural divide, while ensuring sustainable management of state resources. This was followed by the establishment of SEDIA, through the adoption of the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority Enactment 2009 on January 15, 2009. The Enactment was assented by the Tuan Yang Terutama Negeri Sabah on February 23, 2009 and gazetted on February 26, 2009. Through the enactment, SEDIA is vested with the necessary power to serve as a decision-making and execution institution that is tasked with realising the SDC vision and mission, by being the One-Stop Authority to plan, coordinate, promote and accelerate the development of SDC.

SEDIA has promoted SDC programmes and initiatives to investors, both locally and globally. These efforts include welcoming courtesy visits by representatives of foreign countries, overseas trade and investment missions, and attending meetings and promotion-related events at the national and international level. With the commencement of the Second Phase of SDC in 2011, SEDIA has been aggressively promoting investment into SDC. SEDIA has also adopted a more focused and targeted approach in attracting quality investments in new growth areas, especially in service-based, innovation-led and knowledge-intensive industries.

- Media SEDIA

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