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 Local

POIC Lahad Datu needs full control of port

11th July, 2018

By ERIC BAGANG

KOTA KINABALU: The Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) Lahad Datu needs full control of its port to make it more attractive for investors.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said that investors have unique requirements such as 24-hour port operation including its Customs and other relevant agencies and services involved.

“Therefore, as an agency responsible to bring investors in, POIC should also manage its port until the whole 4,000 acres of its industrial area is filled with factories.

“Only then the state government would decide (whether it should be managed by others). Right now it is managed by POIC but its licensing is managed by a private company so the port only operates from 6am to 6pm.

“POIC has a good team to manage it, they are former Sabah Ports officers,” he told a press conference after delivering his message to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) at a hotel here yesterday.

Tangau who is also Trade and Industry Minister said that the development of industry in the state is hindered by the lack of efficient logistics.

This, he said, can only be overcome by making Sepanggar Port as a trans-shipment port which is difficult to achieve as the state does not produce sufficient exports to make it commercially viable for ships to come.

Meanwhile commenting on Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal’s statement to bring specific investors into the state, he said that the ministry has identified several potential investors who want to invest in natural resource processing such as timber, palm oil and petroleum.

Citing the timber industry, he said that several companies have voiced their interests since the ban of log export. According to him, among the timber-based industries that can be developed is truck-deck making and furniture making whose potential investors include IKEA.

Assuring that the raw materials are sufficient to support the downstream timber industry, he said that the ministry is in talks with the Sabah Timber Industry Association and the Timber Association Sabah on ways to synergise the industry.

Tangau also said that the ministry is in talks with several companies who are interested in investing in the automobile industry.

“This is not new, but we are trying to accommodate whatever we lacked previously that stopped them from opening assembly plants in Sabah,” he said.

In his speech earlier, he said that Sabah needs to have at least 35 per cent of its GDP contributed by industry in order to become a developed economy.

At the moment, he said that it only contributes to 7.5 per cent to the state’s GDP of between RM70 and 80 billion.

   
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