Recent investments in Sabah’s palm oil sector, reinforcing both its processing and logistics capacity, could be the catalyst for further growth and capital input through the expansion of its downstream industrial capabilities.
With programmes aimed at boosting education and rural development gaining pace, Sabah’s government will be hoping that its move to calm investors by setting up a regional security zone following an incursion in February proves effective.
Government officials have pledged that road improvements currently underway in Sabah will form part of a sweeping development plan that is expected to benefit every district in the state. The plan includes expansion projects and new roads that will improve connectivity through the region, which will provide the state’s districts with a number of economic opportunities. However, it faces scepticism from some districts where people fear the upgrades will not stretch deep enough into rural areas.
Buoyed by an improved economic outlook across Malaysia, Sabah’s emerging middle class is expected to spearhead the expansion of the state’s fledgling financial services sector. However, with penetration levels still low, educating Sabah’s population on topics such as investment and financial planning is likely to prove instrumental in supporting the industry going forward.