The Labuan Development Blueprint 2030 launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak recently, will create the pathway to the growth and development of the Federal Territory Labuan.
The Blueprint includes the roll out of more than 20 key projects over the next decade or so, aimed at boosting Labuan's economic growth.
During the launch, Najib also announced the implementation study of the long awaited bridge linking Labuan island to the mainland of Sabah. The multimillion ringgit bridge is set to enhance the connectivity of the island by creating a much needed link to the Borneo mainland.
This bridge has been on the cards for nearly a decade, and is very much seen as a catalyst and game changer for the local economy and the island's socioeconomic landscape.
In addition, it was also announced that the remit of Labuan IBFC will be expanded to certain niche areas of the industry connected to the real economy of the island such as methanol, tourism, aviation, education and healthcare.
Labuan IBFC: The island's change enabler
Along with the launch of the blueprint, the Prime Minister also launched the Labuan Financial Services Authority's (Labuan FSA) Financial Transformation Plan which highlights the pivotal role Labuan IBFC plays as a catalyst for change in these niche sectors.
According to the Prime Minister, it was time for Labuan IBFC to relook at its operational journey to ensure that its benefits are felt by the local economy and community.
"And we are launching the Labuan FSA's Financial Transformation Plan which is expected to bring the desired impact," Najib said when launching the Labuan Development Blueprint 2030 recently.
He also said the federal government is aware that Labuan IBFC has become one of the world's fastest growing midshore and financial centres and that it has played an important role in the development of the country and the region, especially as a point of intermediation of trade, finance and investments.
Indeed, Labuan IBFC was established to not only facilitate the strategic growth of businesses in Malaysia especially the needs in relation to transboundary trade but to also offer these benefits to businesses across the region.
Without a doubt, the level of growth in Labuan IBFC has been commendable. It is worth noting that since the global 2008 financial crisis, the number of companies incorporated in Labuan IBFC that have benefitted from its business-friendly, tax and currency...