Visit of East Kalimantan officials to explore areas of cooperation
Sarawak Tribune - Tuesday, 8 July 2003

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BALIKPAPAN - Top government officials and businessmen from East Kalimantan will make a reciprocal visit to Sarawak in one week's time, Tourism Minister Dato Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg told a press conference here yesterday.

"They will visit Kuching from July 14 -16 to explore areas of co­operation," said Johari, who led the Sarawak trade delegation to East Kalimantan in conjunction with MAS inaugural flight to the region.

According to him, the three day visit has opened new chapters in Sarawak East Kalimantan relationship which are set to further spur business activities between the two provinces.

He said three main sectors had been identified for co-operation  human resource management, infrastructure and healthcare facilities to tap incentives offered through the BIMP EAGA.

BIMP-EAGA is the regional growth area covering Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines.

Johari pointed out that Malaysia was keen to offer Indonesians technical training in local colleges and branches of foreign universities in the State.

"We understand that many parents are keen to send their children to Kuching as the State has branch campuses of foreign universities offering similar quality education nearer to home," he said.

"With such a relationship, we can look forward to achieving greater success together."

On tourism, Johari said the delegation met their Indonesian counterparts and inspected probable tourism products to be mar­keted in Malaysia besides touring Balikpapan and visiting Karmala.

Island in Tenggarong and Samarinda.

He also offered Sarawak as the gateway for people in East Kalimantan to travel to the rest of the world.      

Johari pointed out: "We have many connecting flights to Kuala Lumpur, and MAS flies to China, Hong Kong and Australia from Kuching."

Sarawak and East Kalimantan, he added, had many similarities and both were enjoying high GDP growth and income per capita.

On the call by the East Kalimantan government to extend the Pan Borneo Highway which ended in Pontianak after covering Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak, Johari said this would be discussed at 'Sosek Malindo'.

"If the idea receives the blessing of both Federal governments, we can follow up and discuss it at the provincial level in Sosek Malindo meeting," he said.

Johari agreed that the. high­way would play a pivotal role in stimulating economic activities between the two regions.