State government to set up trade and tourism office in Pontianak

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KUCHING: The Sarawak government will set up its proposed trade and tourism office in Pontianak, Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the proposed plan to set up the office was delayed due to the Covid-19 situation.

“The state government had planned to set up these offices in three places – one in Singapore which is the Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore (Statos) that has already been set up.

“While the other offices are proposed to be set up in Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia. If it wasn’t for Covid-19 pandemic, our trade and tourism office in Pontianak would have taken off,” he said in a press conference at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Friday.

He said once the Covid-19 situation has subsided, the state government would continue its plan to establish the said office in Pontianak.

“Plus, in view of the relocation of Indonesia’s new capital – Nusantara, it is crucial for the trade and tourism office to be set up there,” he said.

Abdul Karim added that with the new capital coming up, it will further boost the growth of the Borneo island.

“This is because Sabah and Sarawak are close to Kalimantan and with development such as roads and availability of flights, it will be easier to reach Nusantara, the new capital city.

“At the same time, the provinces in Kalimantan besides neighbouring Sarawak will get the spin-off from the development of this new capital city,” he said.

Asked on what Sarawak could do in order for the state to be in tandem with the development in Nusantara, Abdul Karim said: “We have to wait and see the areas where we can be of help and  also develop so that it can bring mutual benefits to both sides.”

He added companies and industries in Sarawak might also be interested to invest or involved in the development of the new Indonesian capital.

“If companies from Sarawak are able to compete and participate, why not,” he said.

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