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KUCHING, April 27: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has suggested that a joint committee between Sarawak and Fujian Provincial People’s governments be formed to further develop the state’s agriculture sector.
He made the suggestion in response to offers by Fujian vice-governor Guo Ningning during a courtesy call on him by an 11-member Chinese delegation here yesterday.
Guo had earlier made three proposals to the state, where the Chinese government could assist in the promotion of stronger ties and relationship between the two governments.
She pointed out that Fujian Province had much to share in the agricultural sector.
“Sarawak has the land, while Fujian has the technology, experience and the expertise,” she said as a matter-of-factly.
“Besides agriculture, we can explore the possibility of collaborating in mining, marine fishery, tourism, education, culture and in the construction sectors. We can encourage investments into Sarawak.”
Guo added that the Fujian Provincial government also proposed for the setting up of “long term and effective communication mechanism” between both sides.
“We can have the top leaders of our respective governments as the group leaders of this mixed committee. Then we can have the venue to share information, policies and programmes,” she elaborated.
She said trade groups could visit each other’s countries to explore opportunities for investment and co-operation.
On the third proposal, Guo shared that Fujian was keen on establishing more sister city relationships with other cities in the province and cities and towns in Sarawak.
“We now have such a relationship with Kuching North City Hall,” she said.
Sarawak, according to Guo, occupies a very strategic central position on the Maritime Silk Route. She added that there were still strong ties and similarities between the people of China and the Chinese in the state.
She noted that this was because almost half of their forefathers had originated from Fujian Province.
Guo also emphasised that the Fujian Provincial government would soon provide 10 scholarships for young officers and students in the state to further their studies in universities in Fujian.
Meanwhile, Uggah, who is the Minister For the Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, said Sarawak was now in the active process of transforming its agricultural sector.
“We certainly need more export markets plus investors from outside to bring in their capital, technology and their market links. These will be the way forward for us,” he told his visitors.
He added that Sarawak, too, would like the Xiamen Airline to spread its wings to the state to help develop its tourism sector to the China markets.
“I will convey and discuss your proposals with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. We certainly would want a win-win situation for both governments.
“We also really appreciate your offer of 10 scholarships,” Uggah added.
Assistant Minister of Native Land Datuk Roland Sagah, Assistant Minister of Agriculture Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Ik Pahon, Agriculture Department director Dr Alvin Chai and Sarawak Veterinary Services Department director Dr Adrian Susin were among those present. — DayakDaily