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By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Oct 15: The total value of exports and imports between Sarawak and Indonesia almost doubled last year when compared to the corresponding period in 2016. Last year, the figure stood at USD607 million, whereas in 2016, it was USD324 million.
The total value of exports and imports between Sarawak and Kalimantan Barat also improved during this period. The amount recorded was USD121 million in 2017 as compared to USD108 million the year before.
This is an excellent and healthy sign that better results can be achieved in the future, with more trade and bilateral collaborations between the two sides, said Yoni Tri Prayitno, the Indonesian Consul-General in Kuching.
He believed the forthcoming trade mission to Jakarta and Bandung, to be led by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, would enhance trade ties between his country and Sarawak.
The trade mission is put together by Sarawak Business Federation (SBF), Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Chamber (DUBS) and Prayitno’s office to coincide with the 33rd Trade Expo Indonesia from Oct 23-27.
“The good economic and bilateral ties will make both countries prosper. We hope to do better in the future, and Sarawak is invited to the trade expo as a follow-up to the bilateral agreements achieved when President Joko Widodo visited Kuching in 2017,” he told a press conference here today.
Prayitno is also eager to see joint promotions in tourism.
“Why not we promote having a cuppa coffee with one foot in Sarawak and another foot in West Kalimantan. This will boost our tourism prospects in this region,” he chuckled.
On a serious note, he said Indonesia and West Kalimantan were very different now as the central government’s main focus was on the provision of basic infrastructure to make the lives of Indonesians more comfortable,
“This massive infrastructure built up under the present central government for every region in Indonesia has also made us more mobile. Many places are now accessible, and we can now link to Sarawak more easily than before, not only for tourism but for economic activities, too,” he said.
Also present at the press conference were SBF chairman Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg and DUBS president Datu Abang Helmi Tan Sri Ikhwan. — DayakDaily