In the era of globalisation, Sabah must build itself in order to achieve greater success and create more opportunities for the State, said Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) Sabah branch president Datuk Frankie Liew.
In his New Year message, Liew said 2018 is the year to make big strides forward.
"By leveraging on our rich resources, strategic location and favourable conditions, coupled with cooperation between the government and people, I believe we can turn into an important trading hub connecting China, West Malaysia, Borneo and Asean countries.â€
Meanwhile, Liew said the sustainability of our tourism industry was dependent upon the environmental conservation efforts, good management, multiracial society and vibrant cultures in Sabah.
He said a thriving tourism industry would benefit other sectors and spur the state's economy.
"We look forward to the government and rakyat working hand in hand in bringing in more Malaysia-China joint ventures to invest in tourism-related infrastructure development in Sabah.â€
He said China led by its President Xi Jinping, has realised major tangible developments in the countries along the Maritime Silk Road under the Belt and Road initiative.
Liew said Sabah should capitalise on its strengths and participate in the Belt and Road initiative to reap the economic benefits.
To this end, he said the chamber had organised and took part in mutual visits to facilitate bilateral trade and investment between both countries. Several Letters of Intent for cooperation with business associations and organisations in China had been signed.
At the same time, the chamber has also embarked on establishing cooperative ties with Asean countries and other regions which have close trade relations with China.
He said the year 2018 is important for Malaysia and Sabah.
"We hope that the political stability in the country will be maintained to ensure peace in the society, which in turn, will enable improvements to the well-being of the rakyat and development of the nation.â€
At the same time, Liew said tolerance and mutual understanding in this multi-cultural and multi-religious society must be preserved.