Tuesday March 12, 2013
Per capita income of RM46,682 for Sarawak possible before 2020
KUCHING: Sarawak will achieve the nation’s targeted per capita income of US$15,000 (RM46,682) before 2020.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said given the state’s economic performance now, it would reach this figure between 2017 and 2018.
“Right now, we are somewhere at RM41,000 to RM42,000 per capita income and we need some US$3,000 (RM9,336) more to reach the targeted amount — and we will reach it,” he said in a question-and -nswer session at his public lecture here yesterday.
He said the state was confident it would be able to do so because most of its foreign investments came from the Asian region comprising countries like India and China.
He added that these economies were doing well compared to those in the European zone.
“Most of our investments don’t come from Western countries except for Norway. Most come from the Far East due to them being nearer to us,” he said.
Earlier on, State Planning Unit director Datuk Ismawi Ismuni said the state had shown remarkable growth compared to other places in terms of its economy.
He said since Taib took over as the Chief Minister in 1980, the state’s nominal GDP had grown 15 times more from what it was in 1980 RM5.3bil to RM83.4bil in 2010.
He said the per capita income itself increased eight times from RM4,066 in 1980 to RM33,307 in 2010 and now it had reached more than RM40,000.
“Looking at our economic structure, when the Chief Minister took over, first thing he did was to diversify the economic structure.
“Only with a well-diversified economy, we can cushion the impact of any external factor. During the Asian financial crisis when the national economy growth was at minus 7.5%, we were still able to record a growth of 2%,” he said.
He said in 1980, 58.5% of Sarawak’s output came from the primary sector namely agriculture whereas the tertiary sector only contributed 27.2%, and manufacturing, 6.6%.
However, he said in 2010, secondary sector’s share had increased to 28.8% of which 26.5% were from manufacturing. He said the service sector contributed 36.9%.
He said all this would not have been possible without Taib’s visionary leadership and far-sighted policies.