Sarawak to enhance border trade with East Kalimantan

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WITH Indonesia confirming its plan to relocate its capital city to Nusantara in East Kalimantan, Sarawak needs to position itself and develop its competitive advantages, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He pointed out that Sarawak stood to gain from the rapid development with the relocation of Indonesia’s capital city because both countries shared a long borderline and had  established bilateral cooperation with each other.

Abang Johari stated that cross-border accessibility would be improved with the opening of more border exit and entry points, road access, and integrated Customs, Immigration, Quarantine and Security (CIQS) facilities.

“There are plans to upgrade strategic exit and entry points in the Northern and Central regions of Sarawak to international gateways to facilitate better movements of people and enhance our border trade.

“Nevertheless, border security must be our utmost priority and we are working closely with the federal government to strengthen our border control.

“Reviving cross border trade with Indonesia, particularly West Kalimantan, will be our main priority. We need to develop our resources in complementing with Indonesia on a win-win situation,” he said.

Abang Johari stated that Sarawak woud also strengthen its position as the powerhouse of ASEAN and contribute to the ASEAN Power Grid Initiative.

“We will continue to supply our surplus electricity regionally, but not at the expense of our own power needs.

“Given our track records in hydropower development, Sarawak will strengthen its profile within the ASEAN through active involvement in North Kalimantan’s hydroelectric projects,” he said.

To facilitate the initiatives and collaborations with Indonesia, he disclosed that the state government was going ahead with its plan to establish Trade and Tourism Office in Pontianak.

“Sarawak will also strengthen its economic collaborations with Brunei Darussalam. We have been working closely with Brunei in several economic sectors including telecommunication, energy, trade, tourism, and agriculture,” he said.

The premier added that with the establishment of Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office in Bandar Seri Begawan soon, the state would be in a better position to capture the economic opportunities and take advantage of the Brunei’s strategic connectivity and accessibility to other parts of the world.

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