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Lack of duty-free shops in Sabah
Published on: Friday, October 20, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: Federation of Sabah Industries (FSI) President Datuk Mohd Basri Abdul Gafar hopes the Budget 2018 will have a higher allocation for the tourism industry.

He said due to the influx of tourists visiting Sabah, shops in the State are catering more to tourists.

"It was mentioned that we have three million tourists in Sabah and 350,000 of them are from China alone.

"The Chief Minister also mentioned that a tourism firm in China is planning to bring one million tourists to our State.

"In that sense, tourism is crucial to Sabah and hopefully the budget will allocate a portion for the industry," he said during the Pre-Budget 2018 Dialogue at University Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Thursday.

"However, I am quite surprised by the small number of duty-free shops as compared to other states, so I hope there should be more in the city for the tourists to enjoy," he said.

He also hoped the tourism tax would be returned as an investment for tourism development.

"We need this for development, we need incentives for tourism-related business activities.

Imagine one million tourists coming over from China, we will need more hotels, food outlets and more tourism-related areas.

Basri said he also wished to see more funds allocated to improve infrastructure in the State.

"One example would be electricity. My home experienced multiple power outages and the people in Sabah are experiencing five times worse than other places, so we must address this issue."

"I also hope that we will have more funds for our road infrastructure such as the Pan Borneo Highway."

Additionally, Basri said FSI is looking into the application of Alibaba and Digital-Free Trade Zone in the State. - Locksley Ng

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