Lahad Datu Poised To Make Sabah Industrial Powerhouse Says Deputy Cm
The logistics facility at POIC Lahad Datu, Sabah.KOTA KINABALU: Major road reconstruction work will start this October at the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster in Lahad Datu (POIC Lahad Datu), which Sabah hopes will aid in its push towards becoming an industrial powerhouse.
The 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) project will involve about 11km of roads within the state-owned POIC Lahad Datu, which promotes oil palm downstream value-adding, biomass, biochemical, port and logistics, petrochemical and other industries.
Deputy chief minister Joachim Gunsalam said the need for the upgrade at the 16-year-old POIC Lahad Datu is more urgently needed now following a plan to develop the east coast district’s potential as an emerging regional processing and logistics hub.
“POIC Lahad Datu is a major element in Sabah’s ambitious industrialisation agenda in the Sabah Maju Jaya development plan,” Gunsalam who is also the state industrial development minister said in a statement today.
Sabah deputy chief minister Joachim Gunsalam.“The poor condition of the roads at POIC have inconvenienced our investors and other road users, and we don’t want it to undermine our efforts to project POIC Lahad Datu as a good investment destination.”
As an interim measure, POIC has been carrying out road patching works.
The state wants to exploit logistical potential of Lahad Datu because of its central location within the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area) region and the recently ratified 15-nation regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP).
“We possess the criteria desired for a regional processing and logistics hub such as being near to resources and having major business and population centres in the vicinity,” Gunsalam said.
“The BIMP-EAGA alone has more than 70 million population and, with the setting up of Indonesia’s new capital in East Kalimantan, we’ll soon have two (plus Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei) national capitals within the territory.
“We need to work on our trade connectivity. Therefore we are also asking the state and federal authorities to upgrade the airport in Lahad Datu.
“Making it an international airport would be a game changer for Lahad Datu to become a logistics hub in Sabah.”
He added that POIC Lahad Datu has the geographical advantage, the harbour depth, the industrial park concept and a comprehensive integrated port infrastructure comparable if not better than any competitor within the BIMP-EAGA.
“We are equipped and ready to be the hub and become a place for amalgamation of raw material, tranship to other destinations or to retain for value-adding.
“We are in the middle of a huge market and the RCEP alone has more than a two billion population and such market size can only be satisfied by adequate supplies and efficient logistics,” Gunsalam said. - FMT
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