The Sarawak economy is expected to grow by five per cent this year, Second Finance Minister, Wong Soon Koh, said today.
Wong said the economy continued to show strong growth, stimulated by both domestic and external demands.
“The growth is driven by continued expansion of domestic consumption and investment as well as sustained favourable commodity prices and exports,” he said in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly here today.
He said the services sector was expected to expand by 6.2 per cent this year, driven by domestic demand for wholesale and retail trade as well as utilities.
Wong said the moderate growth in the trade-related sub-sector such as transport and storage, reflected slower expected growth of external demand.
“Continued efforts to attract more visitors to the state through meeting, incentives, conventions and exhibitions and tourism activities will further support growth in the accommodation and restaurant sub-sector,” he said.
He said the manufacturing sector would continue to do well and was estimated to grow by 4.4 per cent this year as demand for resource-based sub-sectors from from economies in the region was expected to remain robust.
In the construction sector, Wong said, it was anticipated to grow by 5.5 per cent with the commencement of the implementation of infrastructure projects under the 10th Malaysia Plan and the implementation of multitude of infrastructure projects under the National Key Result Areas, Economic Transformation Programme and in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy areas.
Wong said the agriculture sector was expected to grow at 4.4 per cent as favourable global demand was expected to continue this year while the production of crude palm oil is set to grow by 9.2 per cent with the increase in mature
areas and the improvement in yields.
For mining and quarrying sector, Wong said, it was expected to grow by three per cent this year as the production of natural gas was anticipated to increase to meet the demand particularly from traditional markets such as Japan and South Korea.
He said public investment was expected to grow at 9.1 per cent, supported by capital spending in all economic sectors, particularly in the services, manufacturing as well as construction.