LABUAN — The Labuan Chamber of Commerce (LCC) is hopeful that newly-minted Senator Datuk Seri Anifah Aman could help to boost the economic growth of this duty-free island.
Its chairman Daniel Doughty said Anifah’s appointment was a positive step towards promoting the development of Labuan’s economy which would lead to improving the people’s welfare.
“As a well-known figure in Malaysian politics and a former Foreign Affairs Minister, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his new role,” Doughty said in a statement today.
Doughty said Anifah’s foreign affairs expertise and experience, extensive network and knowledge at federal level would be invaluable in promoting Labuan’s economic growth and to attract more foreign investments.
He said the island needs to have an economic development plan while moving away from a silo economy mindset.
“Labuan can become a logistical hub supporting the mainland town and play a significant role as an economic enabler,” he said.
With such a strategy, Anifah could help to strengthen the economy and harmonise policies that impact Labuan’s economy.
“With the revival of transhipment activities, and the approval of six transhipment berthing areas for ship-to-ship operations at Victoria Bay Labuan, it is poised to become the transhipment hub for the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP EAGA) region,” he said.
Doughty said this development is significant for Labuan, and Sabah could leverage on it.
“LCC would like to seek the senator to champion Labuan’s needs, which among others, include reviving the long-abandoned halal hub and converting the area into a free commercial zone.
“This will bring in investments and create job opportunities in relabelling and repacking activities, among others,” he said.
He said there are also opportunities to relocate the roll on-roll off ferry terminal, to create a new customs, immigration, quarantine and security (CIQS) point between Tanjung Aru Labuan and Mempakul in Sabah.
He also said there is the potential for Labuan to serve as a special regional economic zone under the purview of the state and the federal government, and to extend this zone to the neighbouring mainland district.
The statement said that LCC looks forward to working closely with Anifah to realise Labuan’s full potential.
“With his leadership and commitment, the chamber is confident that Labuan’s economy will continue to thrive. — BERNAMA