KUCHING (May 18): A dry run on trade facilitation between Sarawak and Indonesia is expected to take place on May 23 with the first shipment of ‘gula apong’ to Sarawak via Tebedu Inland Port, said Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg.
“Both parties are excited at the opening of trade border between both nations,” the Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president said in a statement.
The statement was issued in conjunction with a discussion yesterday with the new Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Kuching Raden Sigit Witjak on bilateral cooperation potential.
According to Abang Karim, Raden Sigit was also keen to explore a joint economic cooperation zone mooted for the border area and hoped to report the suggestion to the West Kalimantan Governor.
Among some of the industries highlighted were woodworking, furniture manufacturing, food processing in agriculture and aquaculture, and downstream products.
During the discussion, it was also agreed that the Consulate-General would coordinate with Indonesia’s National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS) to brief SCCI members on business opportunities arising from the relocation of Indonesia’s capital to Nusantara.
Abang Karim also said with Sarawak’s strategic location near Nusantara, it could be developed into a transport hub to cater to the needs of Umrah pilgrims going to Mecca.
He also expressed hoped for medical tourism to continue to flourish.
“The chamber is also expected to work closely with the Consulate-General on bringing Indonesian workers to the state as soon as possible in view of the issue of shortage of workers in Sarawak.
“On a business chamber level, SCCI hopes that with its Indonesian counterpart, both parties can organise joint business networking sessions and annual joint programmes focusing not only on trade, but also social and cultural exchanges,” he said.