PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Government is being urged to establish an ecosystem that can boost the involvement of Sarawak Bumiputeras in entrepreneurship and the economy.

Sarawak Deputy Premier, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, said a more holistic, pragmatic, and regulatory framework would facilitate administration and management for this purpose.

“This includes streamlining and coordinating all forms of assistance, simplifying business management, reducing bureaucratic hassles, and decentralising approval processes for financing applications,“ he said.

Awang Tengah said this at the closing ceremony of the Bumiputera Economic Congress (KEB) 2024, representing Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg here today.

He also called for the establishment of special incentives such as venture capitals, to be managed by the Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneur Council, to drive the development of the local economy.

Furthermore, he emphasised the necessity of providing incentives such as easy financing, subsidies, loan guarantees and grants, particularly for budding entrepreneurs, in addition to assisting in providing business premises, offering training and skills development, and facilitating market access.

“These measures will aid Sarawak Bumiputera entrepreneurs in expanding into bigger markets and meeting requirements and regulations such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Certification, and Halal Certification,“ said Awang Tengah, who is also the Minister of Natural Resources and Urban Development.

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As the Sarawak Minister of International Trade, Industry, and Investment, he noted the importance of formulating policies, especially concerning various components of large-scale government-funded projects, which could be allocated and competitively bid upon by Sarawak Bumiputera contractors, starting from the planning phase through to execution.

“It is crucial for both the government and entrepreneurs to demonstrate commitment and resolve in actualising all proposals and resolutions by developing concrete and comprehensive action plans,“ he said, while expressing hopes that KEB would further enhance Bumiputera’s involvement across all sectors.

Meanwhile, Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, highlighted Sabah’s commitment to strengthening the agricultural, industrial, and tourism sectors within the state.

While acknowledging geographical challenges as a hindrance to developmental progress within the state, he stressed the importance of infrastructure development, particularly in improving connectivity between rural areas and urban centres.

He said that infrastructure development not only supports grassroots Bumiputera economies in Sabah but also lays the groundwork for a more inclusive and sustainable development model for the community.

“I firmly believe that empowering the Bumiputera economy in Sabah through the provision of training, quality education, enhancing digital and financial literacy, as well as equipping them with essential skills, alongside basic infrastructure facilities, will enable them to compete nationally, if not globally,“ he added. - Bernama

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