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Economy

Sarawak’s Economy in Brief

The economic strcuture of Sarawak is quite similar to that of Sabah, whereby, it is largely export-oriented and primary commodities dominated.  The primary sector (i.e., mining, agriculture, and forestry) consists about 40.0 percent of the state's total real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), followed by the secondary sector (i.e., manufacturing and construction) with about slightly more than 30.0 percent of total real GDP. 

Sarawak's economy grew at an average annual growth rate of 6.5 percent during the period 1990-1998.   For 1999, the state is estimated to record a growth of 5.3 percent.  In terms of contribution to the GDP, mining is the largest sector, followed by manufacturing.   Since the early 1980s, Sarawak has started to diversify and transform its economy into industrialisation.  This has been a big success with industry now playing a significant role in shaping the economic expansion fo the state. 

Natural Resources and Crops

Like its neighbour Sabah, Sarawak is also blessed with abundance natural resource endowments, especially in LNG and petroleum, which are the mainstay of its economy for decades now.  Sarawak is also one of the world's largest exporter of tropical hardwood timber.  However, the state government has imposed strict log production quota in recent years to ensure sustainable forestry management.  Sarawak can still produce about 9 to 10 million cubic metres of logs annually. 

As for crops, Sarawak has large tracts of land suitable for commercial agricultural development.  Approximately 32.0 percent or about 4.0 million hectares of the state's total land area have been identified as suitable agricultural land.   Nevertheless, only less than 9.0 percent of this are planted with productive permanent crops, while the balance is still under shifting cultivation for hill padi (rice) which is estimated at more than 1.6 million hectares.  he main commercial crops are oil palm, which has been increasing steadily over the years, sago, and pepper.

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