A big deal for Sarawak to break into Singapore’s export market — CM

Abang Johari (left) touring the Sarawak-Singapore Business Forum and Expo 2019 exhibition area.

By Nancy Nais

SINGAPORE, Aug 16: If Sarawak can break into the Singapore’s export market, then there will be no problem in doing the same to other parts of the world, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said.

Since Sarawak aspires to be a food production hub in the region and net food exporter by the year 2030, he said this represented a good opportunity to break into Singapore because of the strategic location between the two countries.

“Singapore does not have the space for production whereas Sarawak, as the largest state in Malaysia, has a huge area. As long as we have the technology and high quality accepted by them, we are good to penetrate other countries as well,” he reckoned.

In welcoming investors from Singapore to invest in the state’s agriculture sector and to realise this objective, Abang Johari said the state government would strengthen the agriculture supply chain, including using modern and commercial agriculture to increase production.

“We are setting up more Collection, Processing and Packaging Centre (CPPC), strengthening agriculture research and development (R&D) and building airports to facilitate the transportation of fresh agriculture produce direct to Singapore,” he said after the launch of the Sarawak-Singapore Business Forum and Expo 2019 in Suntec Convention Centre here today.

“Sarawak is endowed with abundant natural resources such as land, water, electricity, oil and gas and biodiversity needed by investors. We highly welcome those who are interested to invest. Apart from smart agriculture, we are also focusing on the oil and gas industry. For this purpose, the Sarawak government has established Petroleum Sarawak Berhad or also known as Petros, the agency responsible to facilitate the collaboration with Petronas or other oil and gas companies to explore and develop new oil and gas areas both onshore and offshore of Sarawak.”

Abang Johari (front row 2nd left), Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing (front row 2nd right) with other dignitaries from Sarawak and private companies posed for a photo after the MoU signing ceremony.

As for digital economy development, he told those present that Sarawak is the pioneer state in Malaysia to focus on Industry 4.0, tourism, smart city, digital health, e-commerce, digital government and sports, social, arts and culture.

“In this pursuit, we are putting in massive investment in digital infrastructures, but we still have a long way to go. I believe Singapore has the expertise and experience that can help us to realise this,” he said, adding that companies in Singapore are welcomed to propose setting up data centres in Sarawak.

On the tourism sector, he said although Sarawak is rich in flora and fauna, serene and pristine environment, diverse culture and friendly people, it’s great tourism potential had yet to be fully tapped.

“We must take the necessary steps to promote our tourism products aggressively to the world. We are also leveraging on digital technologies, including through Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

“In this respect, we believe Singapore has the experience, expertise and the technologies to assist us to further develop and market effectively our tourism products globally,” he said.

Earlier, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said Singaporeans like to take short breaks or holidays, especially on weekends, and Sarawak is considered near as Kuching is only one hour by flight.— DayakDaily