Sarawak-Indonesia trade facilitation dry run expected May 23 with first gula apong shipment via Tebedu

Raden (third left) and Abang Abdul Karim (fourth left) pose for a photo-call with other delegates during the meeting.

KUCHING, May 18: A dry run to test trade facilitation between Sarawak and Indonesia is expected to take place this Monday (May 23) with the first shipment of palm sugar (gula apong) to Sarawak via Tebedu Inland Port.

According to a press statement, Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg said Sarawak and Indonesia are both excited about the reopening of trade borders between the two nations.

Abang Abdul Karim met with the new Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Kuching, His Excellency Raden Sigit Witjaksono to discuss bilateral cooperation potentials yesterday (May 17).

Abang Abdul Karim said Raden is keen on exploring a joint economic cooperation zone mooted for the border area and hoped to report the suggestion to the West Kalimantan Governor.

Among some of the industries highlighted were woodworking, furniture manufacturing, food processing in agriculture and aquaculture, and downstream products.

During the discussion, it was also agreed that the Consulate will coordinate with the Ministry of National Development Planning of the Republic of Indonesia (BAPPENAS) to provide a briefing to SCCI members on business opportunities arising from the relocation of Indonesia’s capital to Nusantara.

Meanwhile, Abang Abdul Karim said Sarawak hopes for the continuous flourishment of medical tourism and the development of Sarawak as a transport hub for Umrah pilgrims going to Mecca due its strategic location near Nusantara.

“The chamber is also expected to work closely with the Consulate on bringing Indonesian workers to the State as soon as possible in view of the issue of shortage of workers in Sarawak.

“On a business chamber level, SCCI hopes that with its Indonesian counterpart, both parties can organise joint business networking sessions and annual joint programmes focusing not only on trade, but also social and cultural exchanges,” he said in the statement. — DayakDaily