JAKARTA, Oct 25: Sarawak will continue to explore more trade activities with Indonesia to strengthen economic development and bilateral ties between both regions.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said a continual and structured effort was needed to develop more trade opportunities and untapped potentials, especially between the state and neighbouring Kalimantan.
He added that the volume of trade between Sarawak and Indonesia, though on the increase, had to be strengthened from its present status for mutual benefit.
Statistics showed that the value of trade between Sarawak and Indonesia increased from RM1.8 billion in 2016 to RM2.1 billion last year. As of May this year, the value recorded was RM1.3 billion.
“If the upward trend continued in the remainder of 2018, I am sure the value would exceed that in 2017,” he said before witnessing the exchange of three memoranda of understanding (MoU) between trade entities from Sarawak and their Indonesian counterparts at the Indonesia Conference Exhibition Centre in Tangerang, near here, yesterday.
Abang Johari expressed confidence that the enhancement of cooperation between Sarawak and Indonesia would further increase the level of trade between both economies.
Meanwhile, the MoU signings at Jakarta coincided with the Indonesian 33rd International Trade Exposition.
Danawa Sdn Bhd from Sarawak and PT THC Indonesia signed a Memorandum of Collaborative Agreement to undertake the implementation of fibre optics infrastructure via the border crossings of Tebedu-Entekong and Badau-Lubok Antu that would provide a high-speed Internet and multi-media connection between Indonesia and Sarawak.
The two parties had a similar existing collaboration to lay connections via the Biawak-Aruk border crossing that was expected to be completed by end of this year.
The second MoU was inked between Brooke Dockyard and Engineering Works and PT Wika Wijaya (Persero) TBK of Indonesia to explore opportunities in infrastructure development.
The third MoU was signed between the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the Sarawak Business Federation to strengthen business cooperation between Sarawak and Indonesia.
Abang Johari and members of his delegation also attended the official opening of the exposition by Indonesian president Joko Widodo.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who is also Minister of Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship, Assistant Minister for Industries and Investment Datuk Malcom Mussen Lamoh and Deputy State Secretary Datu Abu Bakar Marzuki were present. — DayakDaily