By Nancy Nais
SINGAPORE, Aug 16: Eight Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between the private sector from Sarawak and Singapore today, prompting Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to state that it would definitely enhance ties between the two countries.
Speaking at the Sarawak-Singapore Business Forum and Expo 2019, he related the two countries had economic ties through trade and investment since the 1960s, and the volume of trade had grown almost 11 times from merely USD0.07 billion in 1960 to USD0.71 billion in 2018.
“Singapore is now one of our top eight trading partners. The major commodity goods exported to Singapore are mineral fuels and lubricants, machinery and transport equipment, food, and chemicals.
With the MoUs today, I am confident there is still plenty of room for us to increase our bilateral trade and investment as we continue to foster stronger ties with each other,” he said.
The eight MoUs exchanged were:
- Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) and National University of Singapore (NUS);
- Association of Malay Entrepreneurs (Kesuma) Republic of Singapore and The Sarawak Bumiputera Chamber of Entrepreneurs (DUBS) Sarawak, Malaysia;
- Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute and Serve2Lead Pte Ltd;
- Sarawak Biodiversity Council (SBC) and Zoe Botanicals Private Limited;
- Powerpoint Electrical Sdn. Bhd. and Secure Meters (Singapore) Private Limited;
- Centre of Technical Excellence (SWK) Sdn. Bhd and Eon Realty Pte. Ltd.;
- HH Capacity Sdn. Bhd. and Crossland Marketing (2000) Pte. Ltd.;
- Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and Singapore Island International Holdings Pte, Ltd.
The auspicious event was also witnessed by Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.
Abang Johari, who was clearly happy with the forum, said they received an overwhelming response from the business community and industry players coming from Sarawak and Singapore.
A total of 878 participants comprising 446 Singaporeans and 426 Malaysians, of which 418 are from Sarawak, attended the event, where 100 booths showcased the state’s products and services, including agriculture and food products, tourism attractions, shipbuilding, timber-based industries, training and education and property development.
Singapore, being a developed nation, is considered a model of a successful economy by many developing countries.
Abang Johari added that Singapore is currently ranked the second-largest economy in the Asia-Pacific region and ranked the 36th largest economy in the world.
“This is a remarkable achievement, in which many developing countries considered it as a model of a successful economy. Started from a small country, Singapore economy has rapidly transformed to what it is today, a modern, industrialised and knowledge-based economy.
“Despite limited natural resources, they have strong research and development to develop a knowledge-based innovation-driven economy and society,” he said.
With this, he believed Sarawak could learn from Singapore, especially on the industrialisation policy and advancement in technologies, as she moved forward to become a high income and developed state by 2030. — DayakDaily