KUCHING: Sarawak is looking forward to having more mutual collaborations and partnerships with China, especially on leveraging the state’s digital economy initiatives.
In pointing this out, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg sees China as beyond being ‘the factory of the world’ in that it is now on the forefront of new economic and disruptive innovations based on technologies.
He says he has made several trips to China since becoming chief minister in 2017, to learn many things about the meteoric rise of that country to become a world’s economic power, particularly in digital economy.
“We are confident that with their (China’s) support and cooperation, Sarawak would be able to realise the transformation of its economy through digital initiatives.
“With the growth and advancement of China’s economy, Malaysia – Sarawak, specifically – hopes to advance and prosper together through the strong bilateral trade relationship with China in years to come,” he said during a dinner held at Pullman Hotel here on Friday, in celebration of the 45th anniversary of China- Malaysia diplomatic relationship and the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China Consulate in Kuching.
Abang Johari’s text speech was presented by Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.
Abang Johari said he always had high respect for China and he believed that the two regions could work together to deepen their two-way relationship deeper.
According to him, the ties between China and Sarawak could be traced back to 15th century when Admiral Cheng Ho explored South East Asia, based on the historical documentation in the Sarawak Chinese Museum.
Further, he said the bilateral ties between China and Malaysia had grown steadily since the establishment of their diplomatic relationship in 1974, pointing out that China had advanced by leaps and bound after becoming a market economy in the late 1970s under the era of Premier Deng Xiaoping.
He also pointed out Malaysia as China’s largest trading partner among the South East Asian countries, and also the key source of foreign direct investments (FDI) for the country.
“China is a strong ally for Sarawak in business as well as in culture,” he stressed.
Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin; Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang; former deputy chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan; Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kuching, Cheng Guangzhong; Sarawak Business Federation (SFC) president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg; Sarawak Chinese Friendship Association (SCFA) president Dato Wee Kok Tiong; and event organising chairman Datuk Mohd Amin Satem, were also present.