Covid-19 unlikely to have big impact on Sarawak economy

Unlike Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak is less dependent on tourism. – Pic from

DESPITE the global economic gloom following the Covid-19 outbreak, the Sarawak government is optimistic of achieving its projected five to six per cent economic growth for 2020.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said the Covid-19 outbreak has yet to impact Sarawak’s economy.

Unlike Peninsular Malaysia where the services sector, which involves tourism, has been affected owing to its major contribution to the economy, the situation in Sarawak is different as the sector’s contribution to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) is not huge, Bernama quoted him as saying.

“Sarawak is not depending too much on the services sector to generate its economy even in tourism, because our Chinese arrivals are not much,” he said after launching the Sarawak Travel App and Web Portal in Kuching yesterday.

The state government had allocated substantial funds for infrastructure developments which would help sustain the projected economic growth of between five and six per cent this year.

“The Covid-19 outbreak will only affect us a bit because our economy is structured in such a way that we are not depending too much on the services sector,” he said.

Tourists from China accounted for about two per cent of Sarawak’s total international arrivals, with as many as 39,933 visitors to Sarawak in 2019 – an average of 3,000 to 4,000 Chinese tourists in a month.