Singapore and Sarawak look to strengthen economic, trade and tourism linkages

Abang Johari (centre) in a photo with the delegation from Singapore led by Chee (third left).

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Aug 29: Singapore and Sarawak are committed to further develop and enhance existing relations in various sectors towards creating more wealth and opportunities for the people of both countries.

Singapore’s senior minister of state, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Education, Chee Hong Tat, led a delegation to pay a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at Wisma Bapa Malaysia, here, today.

“We are honoured to have this chance to call on the chief minister and we had a very good discussion on how we can further enhance the economic investment, trade and tourism links between Sarawak and Singapore,” he told reporters after the meeting.

Abang Johari presenting a souvenir to Chee (left).

The key thing, he pointed out, was to look into how both parties can further facilitate and enhance the linkages at three levels between government-to-government (G2G), business-to-business (B2B) and people-to-people (P2P).

“I think if we can strengthen our linkages at all three levels over time, we can create more wealth and opportunities to benefit our businesses and our people,” he said.

Chee added that the setting up of the Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office (Statos) in Singapore, which was launched by Abang Johari recently, was a very good start as it can serve as a platform to work on collaborations in various fields of interest.

“Among the specific areas we discussed, which is a promising area, are the food and agrofood industry as well as agropark. That’s the area where our needs and strengths can complement each other,” he said.

“Sarawak is a source of many good quality food products. Some of our companies may be interested to come here to invest in areas like food manufacturing and food processing and to export the food products to overseas,” he added.

Touching on tourism sector, Chee reiterated that Singapore and Sarawak can play to their strengths to complement each other.

“We discussed the possibility of doing joint marketing and promotion for tourists from countries like Europe, China, India, US and Australia, whereby when they come to Southeast Asia, they can spend some time in Singapore and here in Sarawak as well,” he said.

“There is also the possibility in cruise (travel). Tourists can fly in to Singapore, take a cruise and come here to explore Sarawak before they take a flight back. There are many possibilities,” he added.

The Singapore delegation comprised Deputy High Commissioner of Singapore to Malaysia Loy Hui Chien and High Commission of Singapore in Kuala Lumpur first secretary (Political) Yang Xin Tian; Ministry of Trade and Industry Southeast Asia and Oceania deputy director Foo Cher How, its senior assistant director Melissa Lee and assistant director Joanne Tan; as well as Enterprise Singapore deputy director Wu Hongyi and its regional director Neoh Yi Liang.

They were accompanied by Statos chief executive officer Chew Chang Guan. — DayakDaily