‘Sarawak has great tourism potential’

COURTESY CALL: Liu (fifth left) in a group photo with the entourage from See Hua Group (from left) Caren Yee, Barry Lim, Chia Chiew Boon, Wong Sing Seng, Ling Kok Kiong, Robin Lee, Loi Kwong Tiong, Francis Chan and Phang Kuet Liong.

KUCHING: China and Sarawak must continue to enhance their bilateral relationship to encourage more collaboration in various areas for the benefits of both parties.

China’s consul-general in Kuching Liu Quan, who was appointed to the state in early November, said yesterday there was great potential for tourism and trade cooperation between the Sarawak and China.

“Therefore, it is important to have more exchanges and communications to open up more opportunities between our countries for further collaboration,” he said when receiving a courtesy call from See Hua Group at the General Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Jalan Ong Tiang Swee here.

The entourage comprising members of See Hua Group Marketing and Editorial teams was led by See Hua Group Kuching Area manager Wong Sing Seng.

“The strategic location and natural wealth of Borneo, despite its smaller population, has a lot to offer, not only in trade and business but also tourism,” he added.

Liu pointed out that the state’s strength in the tourism was its great diversity of culture, flora and fauna backed by good facilities.

“Kuching or Sarawak as a whole has such advantages but the attractions are scattered and as such accessibility to these destinations is important,” he said.

“Also, more needed to be done to provide better facilities such as five-star hotels that offers convenience, accessibility and comfort,” he elaborated.

He pointed out that Sarawak was still unknown to most Chinese in Mainland China.

“We need to have more networking exchanges and invite more Chinese visitors here, including creating joint tour packages and products, to attract Chinese tourists,” he said.

Liu welcomed the government’s initiative to ease visa curbs for Chinese in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

“However, it will be better with direct entry instead of through a third country,” he said.

Liu observed that the initiative would bring positive impact on both countries as it would open up more engagements for enhancing social and economic growth as well as attract distant relatives and friends visits.

Meanwhile, Liu said the Chinese Visa Application Centre in Kuching at Wisma Naim received overwhelming response since it opened in Nov 25.

“Our aim is to provide better services to visa applicants, which has been increasing . Following the success of visa centres in other countries, the Chinese Consulate-General in Kuching then decided to introduce the counter here,” he elaborated.

On the setting up of the China consulate in Kota Kinabalu (KK), Liu said more time was needed to implement the plan.

“It is only a matter of timing but I do hope it can be set up as early as possible to provide better services and convenience for local people and Chinese nationals in Sabah. We can look forward to that next year,” he added.

Also present were See Hua Marketing admin executive Caren Yee, its assistant sales managers Robin Lee and Barry Lim; The Borneo Post and Utusan Borneo senior managing editor Francis Chan; and See Hua Daily News regional chief editor Ling Kok Kiong, its regional news manager Chia Chiew Boon, its chief editor (Sibu edition) Loi Kwong Tiong and its news editor Phang Kuet Liong.

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