Bengkayang regency hopes Serikin ICQS will be completed soon to boost cross-border trade, tourism

Yan (centre) with his officers from the Department of Industry and Trade for Bengkayang regency.

By Nancy Nais

BENGKAYANG, May 20: The Department of Industry and Trade for Bengkayang regency in West Kalimantan is hopeful the upcoming Serikin Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) Complex in Sarawak will be completed as soon as possible.

Its director Yan Ukin expressed his optimism that the completed ICQS Serikin will not only facilitate trade dealings between the two countries but also revitalise the local economy and enhance security aspects along the Sarawak-Kalimantan border.


“It will generate significant and positive impact, particularly for trade sectors and local tourism, improve our export in agriculture, fisheries, handicrafts, food and many more.

“Take agriculture as an example—we export an average of three tonnes of fresh vegetables per day via the Jagoi Babang-Serikin route. Bengkayang is the centre of corn production in West Kalimantan. Apart from selling corn, among others are avocado, sweet potatoes, chilli, cocoa, ginger, engkabang and local margarine made from tengkawang fruit.

“As for oil palm, there are 23 registered companies in Bengkayang sitting on 69,544 hectares of land but only 12 are producing crude palm oil,” Yan told reporters from Sarawak.

Yan (left) and Theodorus (right) speaking at the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs forum in Bengkayang regency on May 16, 2024.

Currently, cross-border travel between Serikin and Jagoi Babang is restricted to Malaysia-Indonesia Border Pass (PBL) holders, which only those residing in Bau and Jagoi Babang may apply for.

On the other hand, the Indonesian Border Post (PLBN) in Jagoi Babang was completed in July 2023 but passport stamping cannot be done until Serikin’s ICQS is ready.

This also means traders from Jagoi Babang can only trade in Serikin and not beyond, and vice versa for visitors from Sarawak who wishes to enter Indonesia for tourism purposes or other related activities.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Transport Sarawak Dato Henry Harry Jinep announced yesterday that construction on ICQS Serikin will commence end of 2024 or early 2025 and is expected to be completed in two years.

On tourism products, Yan said: “Benkayang offers products from the sea (beaches) to the rainforest (waterfalls and mountains) which are nearer to access via Serikin, rather than going through Entikong-Tebedu or Aruk-Biawak borders.

“Therefore, I hope Sarawak can expedite the construction of ICQS Serikin so we can enhance and explore our business ties for mutual benefits.”

The Consulate General of Indonesia in Kuching led by its consul for economy, Theodorus Nugroho recently organised a tourism-medical-cum-media trip to Bengkawang and Mempawah.

Two forums attended by some 60 micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSME) were also held on May 16–17, which saw discussions and presentations aimed at providing insight and in-depth understanding of the latest developments in the business world.

Mayor of Mempawah regency H.Ismail M.M (2nd left) with Theodorus (left) and other officials touring the booths at a micro, small and medium entrepreneurs forum on May 17, 2024.

Since Indonesia’s capital will relocate from Jakarta to Nusantara in Kalimantan, Theodorus called all MSMEs in both countries to seize any opportunity available for them to develop their business.

“Kalimantan will see a drastic change and it will create vast business opportunities beyond our imagination. Now is the time for you find ways to penetrate into this.

“It does not matter how small your businesses are but (it is) a matter of hard work, improving your products and marketing strategy, being innovative and following the latest trends in business development,” Theodorus said.

He added that the Consulate in Kuching will continue to support and promote MSMEs for West Kalimantan and Sarawak. — DayakDaily