Kota Kinabalu (Saturday) – The Sabah Economic Development and
Investment Authority (SEDIA) had welcomed the New Zealand Ambassador to Malaysia to their office at Tun Mustapha Tower on Tuesday morning. The New Zealand delegation comprised of the New Zealand High Commissioner to Malaysia and Brunei Her Excellency Pam Dunn, and New Zealand Trade Commissioner to Malaysia and Brunei Catherine Rusby. They were welcomed by SEDIA Chief Executive Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hashim Paijan along with Deputy Chief Executive Dr. Chong Vun Leong, Chief Investment Officer Kevin Ukang, Chief Human Capital Development Officer Janet Lee, and Chief Corporate Communication Officer Sheila Radin.
The New Zealand High Commissioner informed that New Zealand and Sabah have had longstanding ties, with the Oceanic country providing education scholarships to youth since Sabah was known as North Borneo. She also noted on the cultural links and similarities between Sabah’s indigenous ethnic groups with New Zealand’s Maori. The Minister of Maori Development had in fact previously visited Sabah during 2014 and 2017.
Her Excellency explained that the visit stemmed from their observation that Sabah is undergoing major shifts in its economic focuses as they heard during the Sabah International Business and Economy Summit event earlier this week, as well as the state’s plans for neighbouring Indonesia’s upcoming Nusantara administrative capital; hence they would like to get a sense of the state’s priorities and plans moving forward. More importantly, she is keen to know how it will enhance Sabah’s trade and economic engagement with New Zealand.
On SEDIA’s side, Kevin Ukang briefed the delegation on Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) programmes and initiatives, the investment incentives and business facilitation services offered by SEDIA, as well as Sabah as an investment destination. In order to better attract foreign investment to Sabah, SEDIA had collaborated with the World Bank Group during 2021 to establish its SEDIA Investment Promotion unit (SEDIA IP). The unit will actively promote and facilitate inward investment in Sabah, providing various support services to investors to assist in their business/investment expansion.
Facilitating inward investment to Sabah through SEDIA IP is just one of the focuses of the SEDIA, of which all its initiatives to reinvigorate the state economy are aligned to the State Government’s Sabah Maju Jaya development plan. In this regard, SEDIA is redefining the direction of its Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) programmes towards 2030 in response to the pandemic, while also aligning with the latest Federal and State Governments’ policies and initiatives. The newly completed SDC Blueprint 2.0 will chart Sabah’s development over the 10-year period from 2021 until 2030. Five Strategic Thrusts are prioritised, through which 30 SDC initiatives will ensure maximum impact on Sabah’s overall socio-economic growth.
SEDIA will work together with all agencies at the Federal and State levels, to take on a positive role in attracting private investments and aligning public spending so that the development projects are implemented as planned and in accordance with the strategies of the SDC Blueprint 2.0.