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KOTA KINABALU, Feb 16 -- Sabah has great potential as the main gateway for trade, focusing mostly on the larger Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines - namely the East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) region.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the gateway made possible with the on-going expansion of the Sepanggar Bay Container Port here, a project approved in 2016 costing RM1.03 billion.
"The existing on-going port services and businesses offered would also help bounce the state's economy.
"I am also satisfied that the on-going expansion project under the SEDIA (Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority), funded by the Federal Government and expected to be completed in 2024, meets the regional attention given to green and sustainability concerns," he said in a statement after visiting the port today.
Ongkili also acknowledged the efforts by Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd (SPSB) and its strategic role in strengthening the industry.
He noted that SPSB had spent close to RM1 billion to upgrade port facilities and equipment since the takeover and done an impressive job as an industry leader, creating more economic growth and job opportunities for locals in Sabah.
Meanwhile, the minister said he and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economic Affairs) Datuk Sri Mustapa Mohamed will jointly oversee SEDIA, a Sabah state corridor agency fully funded by the federal government.
During the visit, he was briefed by SPSB managing director Datuk Ng Kiat Min and SEDIA vice president Dr Chong Vun Leong on the port management company’s current operations and status.
Ongkili also affirmed commitment to support Sabah Ports’ initiative in positioning the Sepanggar Bay Container Port as a regional transshipment hub to serve as the main gateway on the larger BIMP-EAGA, Intra Asia as well as fast growing markets in China, Korea and Japan.