KUCHING: Sarawak will set up a trade and tourism office in Pontianak in Indonesia’s West Kalimantan. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the office would further strengthen bilateral cooperation, trade and tourism between Sarawak and Indonesia.
“The functions of the office to be established next year are similar to the ones in Singapore.
“We want to work together with Indonesia and collaborate with the business community,” said Tengah when receiving a courtesy call by a trade delegation from Indonesia (Sambas and Singkawang) led by Indonesian Consul-General in Kuching, Yonny Tri Prayitno, at Wisma Sumber Alam yesterday.
Also present were Singkawang regional secretary Drs H Sumastro M Si and other senior officers and dignitaries. Tengah, who is also International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Minister, also asked if his counterpart wished to collaborate with specific companies here.
The state will identify the sectors of interest and it is up to the business people to proceed if they want to by signing of memoranda of understanding (MoU) or other forms of agreements.
“What we can facilitate, we will facilitate,” said Awang Tengah.Among the topics discussed during the meeting were how to strengthen the tourism sector and infrastructure and provide better connectivity throughout Borneo. It is understood that Singkawang will soon have an airport and Sambas has a deep sea port.
As for Sarawak it has ongoing and future projects such as the Pan Borneo Highway, second trunk road and its coastal highway.“The relocation of the Indonesian capital to Borneo will provide a lot of
socio-economic opportunities for Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Indonesia.
Tengah added that well-structured plans on joint border development would benefit all in terms of cross-border trade which covers a wide range of sectors such as tourism, education, healthcare, manufacturing, etc.