Sarawak to set up trade, tourism office in Pontianak

Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country, is planning to move its capital away from Jakarta.

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Nov 8: Sarawak government is planning to set up a Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office in Pontianak in view of Indonesia’s plan to move its capital to East Kalimantan in 2024.

Assistant International Trade and Industry Datuk Malcom Mussen Lamoh informed the august House today that this office will function to promote and enhance trade and tourism between Sarawak and Indonesia.

“Sarawak’s plan will be materialised between next five to 10 years,” he added in responding to the question of Demak Laut assemblyman Dr Hazland Abang Hipni on Sarawak’s preparation in tapping on new business opportunities following the relocation of Indonesian capital.

Mussen, who is Batang Ai assemblyman, highlighted that the Sarawak government welcomed the move by the Indonesian government.

“By having a new capital city of Indonesia within close proximity to Sarawak, it would open more bilateral collaborations in business and economic opportunities for Sarawak, such as joint border developments, trade and investment, healthcare, education, tourism, as well as collaborations of SME development.

“Our industrialisation agenda and adoption of Industry (Revolution) 4.0, as well as improving connectivity throughout Sarawak, including digitai infrastructure, increasing agriculture production through modernisation and commercialisation, as well as developing human talent would better position Sarawak to grab the economic opportunities arising from the relocation of the Indonesian capital to Kalimantan,” he said.

He pointed out that Sarawak has existing platforms for cooperation with Kalimantan including BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area) and Sosek Malindo (Malaysian-Indonesia Socio Economic Cooperation Agreement).

“Through these platforms, several initiatives pertaining to facilitation of cross-border movement of goods and services, harmonisation of cross-border policies and regulations, as well as economic cooperation have been discussed and planned.

“In view of the latest deveIopment in Kalimantan, our private sectors shouid play more active role and re-position themselves strategically in the BIMP-EAGA and Sosek Malindo as well as the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community),” he said.

Apart from the cooperation through international bodies, Mussen also revealed that there were also concrete efforts between government-linked companies of Sarawak and companies in Indonesia especially in the energy sector where agreements or MOU have already signed.— DayakDaily