TEBEDU: Sarawak government still hopes that the Tebedu–Entikong border will be upgraded to an international gateway soon, because it will boost bilateral trade with Indonesia.
Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong said this aim has not been achieved due to several matters not being resolved, such as the Border Trade Agreement signed in 1970 which has not been updated.
The Tebedu assemblyman also mentioned there are other issues including international coding required for transfer of goods, and he hoped the Indonesian government can come up with a solution to the matter soon.
According to Manyin, the existing Border Trade Agreement limits trading to only RM600 per family every month.
He also pointed out that the Sarawak government had made efforts to make this border post an international gateway, as he shared about the meetings he held with the West Kalimantan governor in Pontianak and ministers in Jakarta.
“If we can turn Tebedu-Entikong into an international gateway, this will greatly benefit both sides in terms of development, particularly in Serian and Sanggau.
“There will be more trade, economic activities and more employment opportunities will be created especially at the inland port and industrial park,” he said when speaking at the 13th ‘Titian Muhibbah’ (Goodwill Ties) Night for Serian Division and Indonesian regency of Sanggau held at the Dewan Masyarakat here on Saturday night.
Also present at the event were Sanggau Regency Office secretary AL Leysandri who came on behalf of Bupati (Regent) of Sanggau Paolus Hadi, Camat (district officer) of Entikong Hendrikus Suparman, Serian Resident Johnathan Lugoh and Tebedu district officer Raymond Achen.
On another matter, Manyin said Sarawak welcomes the idea of Indonesia relocating its capital from Jakarta to one of the cities in Kalimantan (Borneo).
He pointed out if this idea is materialised, it will give economic spill-over effect to Sarawak and development will be accelerated due to the state’s proximity to West Kalimantan (Kalbar).
“We believe that Sarawak can also benefit from it. Tebedu, for example, will receive more visitors coming from Indonesia,” he said.
He was referring to news reports of Indonesia’s plan to move its capital from Jakarta due to the congestion in the city and Java Island. Based on the reports, such idea had been on the cards for a long time whereby Jakarta remains as the economic heartbeat of the nation.
The idea of the capital being moved to Kalimantan gained momentum of late following President Joko Widodo’s increased visits to Kalimantan, particularly to West Kalimantan.