Abang Johari opens a durian during the ‘Lan...Makan Buah-Buah Tempatan’ programme organised by the Department of Agriculture Sarawak at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Building in Kuching. Photo: Marvin Kudang

The Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore (Statos) was set up in the Lion City in August last year to position Sarawak in the global market, bring in more investments, promote trade and attract more tourists to the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg saw the importance of setting up the office because Singapore was a major trading partner of the state.

The major items traded between Sarawak and Singapore are food items, machinery, transport equipment, minerals, fuels and lubricants; in 2028, total exports of these products to Singapore stood at RM1.2 billion.  

Abang Johari shows the dried food products from Sarawak during the soft opening of Statos as Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Tan Sri James Jemut Masing and Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and others look on.

Just two months after the establishment of Statos, for the first time ever, about 12 tons of tilapia fish from Batang Ai were exported to the Singapore market in October last year.

Singapore is also looking forward to importing the high-class Empurau fish.

Abang Johari said Sarawak’s export market to Singapore was targeted to increase by 30 per cent this year.

In addition to that, Sarawak had been able to export about 700 boxes of local ‘banaBee’ banana chips to Guangzhou, China.

About 300 tons of durian paste were also exported to China last year.

These successes indicate that Sarawak’s food industry has great potential and has a bright future as importers from other countries are showing interest in importing food products from the state.

This also goes to show that Sarawak is able to achieve its target of becoming a net food exporter by the year 2030.
Similar trade and tourism offices are set to open in Pontianak, Kalimantan and in Bandar Seri Bagawan by the Sarawak government.

In the State 2020 Budget, Abang Johari also announced that a sum of RM6.1 million would be provided to Statos for its operation and activities.