Sarawak’s Kuching city signs MoU with China’s Linshu city to develop craft industries

Sun (front row, left) exchanges the MoU with Wee while (back row, from left) Xing, Dr Sim and Zaiedi look on at the MoU signing ceremony at the Old Courthouse, Kuching on Dec 1, 2023.

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, Dec 1: Sarawak’s Kuching City has signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s Linshu City today to collaborate in developing their respective craft industries.

Deputy Premier of Sarawak Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian, said Linshu is the world’s largest exporter of wickerwork.

“With their extensive network and highly organised system of hand-crafted basketry, there is much that Kuching and Sarawak can learn from them.

“In exchange, we also have bountiful supplies of natural fibers such as rattan, bemban (arrowroot) and bamboo that Linshu may be interested to buy or joint venture with us,” he said when witnessing the MoU signing ceremony between Kuching South City Council (MBKS) and Linshu City of Shandong Province, held at the Old Courthouse here today.

MBKS was represented by mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng while Linshu City was represented by Sun Yueqi.

Dr Sim who is also Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government (MPHLG) further added that MBKS had planned to sign similar MoUs with Yogyakarta (Indonesia) and Taraz City (Kazakhstan), but unfortunately their mayors were unable to come at this time.

“Nevertheless, I look forward to having some fruitful discussions with our other Indonesian counterparts; Association of Exporters and Producers of Indonesian Handicraft (ASEPHI), International Handicraft Trade Fair (INACRAFT) – one of the largest craft product exhibitions in Southeast Asia, and also on the possibility of joint venture in setting up a batik workshop in Kuching to train our youths,” he added.

The ceremony also saw the signing of two more MoUs between Society Atelier Sarawak and Aspara Fashion Week, as well as Society Atelier Sarawak and Asean Handicraft Promotion and Development Association (AHPADA) for the hosting of Sarawak International Eco Fashion Week 2024.

The MoUs, Dr Sim said, will forge the links and networks between the organisations with similar objectives and purposes to promote fashion especially in the genre of eco-fashion such as natural fibers, dyes and materials.

“The Sarawak government through the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts (MTCP), Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak), Sarawak Crafts Council, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF), strongly supports such initiatives as the Sarawak International Eco Fashion Week not only brings in tourists, but helps to create and develop our creative industry, particularly among the younger generation,” he elaborated.

Society Atelier Sarawak was represented by Melinda Omar while Aspara Fashion Week by World Crafts Council Asia Pacific president Aziz Murtazaev and AHPADA Malaysia president by Edric Ong.

Also present were The People’s Republic of China consul-general Xing Wei Ping and MBKS deputy mayor Dato Zaiedi Suhaili. — DayakDaily