KOTA KINABALU: Sabah need a strong, dynamic and agile workforce to drive economic activity and nurture human capital development to sustain and grow long-term investments coming to the state.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor said strong human capital is essential in ensuring that Sabah continue to create and maintain well-developed infrastructure and stay ahead of increasing competition in Southeast Asia.
“We strongly believe that the growth of Sabah and Borneo will support the nation’s long-term progress,” he said.
Hajiji said that at the opening of the National Human Capital Conference and Exhibition 2023 – Borneo Region delivered by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey G Kitingan at SICC here on Tuesday.
Also present were Minister of Human Resources V. Sivakumar and HRD Corp Chief Executive Datuk Shahul Dawood.
According to Hajiji, despite uncertainties, the economy of Sabah has remained resilient proven by the fact that from 2020 to 2022, the Sabah State Government has secured investments worth RM11.5 billion with 89 projects generating over 4,500 job opportunities for Sabahans.
“Of the RM11.5 billion, RM9.2 billion consisted of foreign direct investments, and another RM2.3 billion were domestic investments. This represented 72.9 per cent of the investments or RM8.4 billion for the manufacturing sector, the primary sector comprising agriculture, mining, commodity and plantation (RM1.6b) and the service sector (RM1.5b).
“Apart from these, I am also delighted to share that the Integrated Green Steel Project, worth RM19.6 billion at the Sipitang Oil and Gas Industrial Park, is expected to create more than 10,000 high-skilled job opportunities for the local community,” he said.
Hajiji also said Malaysian Borneo would soon have an excellent infrastructure that will expand economic activities to previously inaccessible locations within both states with the completion of the Pan Borneo Highway project coupled with the construction of Phase Two and Phase Three of the Sabah-Sarawak Link Road Project.
With these projects in place, he said, the NHCCE 2023 – Borneo Region is a timely event. The Conference and Exhibition came at a time when we should be placing greater importance on developing more strategic human capital development solutions for Sabah and Sarawak.
“This will put us in a stronger position to ensure the success of all these current and upcoming development projects,” he said.
Hajiji sees the NHCCE 2023 – Borneo Region is an excellent platform for government representatives, academia, industry players, and working professionals in Sabah and Sarawak to come together to discuss their human capital challenges and opportunities meaningfully.