SCORE, on the radar of serious investors
Ever since Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud identified the site for the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), a lot of effort has been put into raising awareness of the area and generating interest amongst potential investors spread out across many countries.
As a result, SCORE has received a number of visits by senior representatives of the investment communities of Japan, Korea, China, the United Kingdom, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Here’s a recap of some of those visits.
On 6th November 2014, Sarawak welcomed 60 delegates including the High Commissioner, British-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (BMCC) Board of Directors and SME companies from the United Kingdom to explore the strategic offering of Sarawak and in particular SCORE. RECODA Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot remarked that the delegation’s visit to Sarawak is a positive sign that investor’s interest in SCORE continues to grow.
On 19th September 2014, the Malaysia-Japan Economic Association invited Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem to deliver a keynote address during the 33rd MAJECA-JAMECA (Malaysia-Japan Economic Association – Japan Malaysia Economic Association) Joint Conference. The organisation was created to improve economic relations between the two countries. A number of key meetings were held on the side of the conference and to date, 18 Japanese companies have invested over RM15 billion in Sarawak, which makes Japan the largest investing country in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.
A number of mutual visits between South Korea and Sarawak under the ‘Sarawak State Investment Mission’ have been successful. Most recently, a principle agreement with Huchems Chemical and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Taekwang Industrial Corporation were signed. Exploratory meetings were also held with potential South Korean investors including Huchems Fine Chemical Corporation, TaeKwang Industrial Corporation, Dongbu Metal, Daewoo International and Han Kook Silicon. South Korean companies such as Asia Advanced Materials Sdn Bhd have already invested in Samalaju Industrial Park and construction has begun on their plants.
On November 4th 2014, during a recent courtesy visit to Sarawak, his Excellency Liu Quan, the Consulate General of China described the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy as a goldmine. He also recommended Sarawak ramp up the distribution of information on SCORE to Chinese investors to encourage investments from China. His Excellency Dr Huang Hui Kang, who is China’s Ambassador to Malaysia, agreed and is optimistic that investors from China will be keen to explore business opportunities in Sarawak.
An earlier visit by Cosmos Petroleum & Mining Sdn Bhd (Cosmos), part of Saudi Arabia’s Project Management & Development Company Co Ltd (PMD) was successful and the firm is currently developing a US$1.6 billion Polysilicon manufacturing plant in Samalaju. Once operational, it will be one of Asia’s largest Polysilicon plants. The plant is being financed by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi Malaysia and is their largest project finance account to date.
On June 12th 2013, former Sarawak Chief Minister and current Governor Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud met with a visiting delegation from Qatar to build a lasting relationship and to intensify foreign investment from the Middle Eastern nation. Masraf Al Rayan, one of the Qatari investors, expressed an interest in heightening economic cooperation in the areas of power assets, heavy industries, halal food and food security. Also at the meeting was Qatar Chamber of Commerce Director General Remy Rowhani.
On 19th August 2014, a party from the Singaporean Government visited the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy facilities and was briefed by RECODA, the agency responsible for managing SCORE. Among those present at the briefing was Grace Fu, Singapore’s Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Director General of Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lim Hong Huai, Bintulu Resident Haji Muhammad Yakub Kari and Samalaju Properties Sdn Bhd Chief Executive Officer Dato Isaac Lugun.
Ms Fu, who is also a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Environment and Water Resources, remarked that there were plenty of opportunities and Samalaju Growth Node is a good launching pad for investors.