Saturday, October 31

Sarawak, China to maintain close ties

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BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP: Jabu receives a souvenir from Li (fourth left) while other Chinese delegates look on.

KUCHING: China and Sarawak have agreed to maintain close exchanges and enhance collaboration through existing and new projects in the agriculture field, especially on rubber plantation.

A Chinese delegation led by director-general of the Ministry of Agriculture, Li Jianhua, paid a courtesy call on Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia, here yesterday.

“Cooperation between China and Sarawak in agriculture has been in good momentum for many years. Our Chinese partners have invested in a rubber processing factory in Betong since eight years ago,” Jabu told a press conference here yesterday.

The two leaders recognised the opportunities and benefits of such meaningful collaboration and reaffirmed yesterday each other’s commitment to working closely together.

“This economic cooperation has now become a solid collaboration and we want to continue building this relationship to boost trade and explore more areas for collaboration.

“Their visit will definitely strengthen an already-vibrant relationship built on mutual benefits,” said Jabu, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and also Minister of Rural Development.

Jabu, who was delighted to receive the delegation, also assured the visitors that the political, economic and social stability of Sarawak were what made the state an ideal business and financial investment platform.

He also expressed Sarawak’s desire to venture into joint projects in other areas such as technology, education, social and culture.

“There are immense scope of widening ties in these sectors to allow China and Sarawak to increase investment and encourage further collaboration,” he said.

Li, meanwhile, emphasised the importance of stepping up exchanges between the two countries.

“It is important to enhance communication to further develop the agriculture sector as well as to improve bilateral ties.”

He added that both countries were happy with the full fruition of the initial collaboration.

“We have taken a helicopter ride to see the rubber plantation. We are impressed with the development more so when it involves remote areas of Sarawak,” he said.

He extended an invitation to Jabu and their Sarawak partners to visit China.

The Chinese delegation includes officials from the Finance Ministry and and representatives from Guangdong Agribusiness Group Corporation and Guangdong Guangken Rubber Group.