By Peter Sibon
SINGAPORE, June 20: Sarawak’s trade with Singapore is expected to increase by 30 per cent for the 2019-2020 period with the setting up of Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore (Statos), said Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today.
The chief minister said he believed the investment in the Island republic would give Sarawak’s economy a push as Singapore is a global trading hub.
“(With the setting up of Statos), our (trade) target for Sarawak is to increase by 30 per cent. Hopefully, we can achieve it for the 2019-2020 period,” he told the media after launching Statos Singapore at 80 Robinson Road.
Last year, Sarawak’s total export to Singapore was RM1.2 billion, while the total import was RM1.6 billion. The major items traded between Sarawak and Singapore were machinery and transport equipment, mineral fuels, lubricants and food.
Abang Johari also revealed that Sarawak’s gross domestic product for this fiscal year is expected to grow by between 5 and 6 per cent due mainly to its policy to implement vital infrastructures such as roads, water and communication facilities.
“Statos will re-establish and enhance our historical trade with Singapore as we have been doing trade since the Rajah’s time,” he said.
The chief minister explained that the setting up of Statos was also one of the strategies to explore global markets, woo more investments, promote trade and attract more tourists.
Statos will serve as a one-stop centre for investment and businesses as well as tourism players in Singapore to know more about Sarawak. The office is also to be the hub of communication between exporters and importers from Sarawak and business communities in Singapore.
Statos will facilitate Sarawak’s trade through the creation of a comprehensive and up-to-date database on the list of importers from Singapore and exporters from Sarawak and undertake analysis on trade, which will include information on market trends, market alert, trade statistics and trade leads that can be obtained from sources such as online news portal, directories and publications.
It will also help to organise export promotion activities for Sarawak products through international trade exhibition, trade mission, specialised marketing mission, incoming buying mission for Singapore importers, and joint trade promotion with federal agencies in Singapore.
Additionally, Statos will also provide trade advisory services to both importers from Singapore and exporters from Sarawak through help desk, briefing, business matching and business consultation sessions.
Statos will facilitate Sarawak’s tourism through the creation of a database on Sarawak tourism products and activities; undertake analysis of tourism trends, tourist preferences and expenditure patterns in Singapore and globally; develop marketing strategies to attract more tourists to Sarawak through the formulation of innovative product packages, attractive incentives, facilitate engagement with travel agents, tour operators, airlines, hotels, restaurant and tour guides.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari revealed that Sarawak would set up a similar facility in Bandar Seri Begawan and Pontianak, Indonesia, soon.
For Pontianak, he said the state was now looking for a suitable location and hoped it could be operational soon.
Present at the launching ceremony were Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Assistant Minister of Tourism Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Malaysia High Commissioner to Singapore Dato Zainol Rahim Zainuddin, Acting State Secretary Datu Jaul Samion, Deputy State Secretaries Datu Dr Sabariah Putit and Datu Abu Bakar Marzuki and Statos chief executive officer Chiew Chang Guan. — DayakDaily