Sarawak to set up trade, tourism office in Brunei Darussalam
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (September 21): Sarawak will set up an office in Brunei to boost trade and tourism activities under its bilateral cooperation with Brunei.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan revealed this at the end of the two-day working visit and bilateral cooperation committee meeting between ministers of the Sarawak government led by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and ministers from the Brunei government.
“We hope to set up the trade and tourism office in Brunei soon as this was resolved in the bilateral committee meeting,” said Awang Tengah when interviewed.
Figure 1: Ali Apong (third left) presenting a souvenir to Abang Johari as (from second right) Uggah and Awang Tengah and others look on after the conclusion of the bilateral meeting.
Besides Awang Tengah, Abang Johari was joined by Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and State Secretary Tan Sri Mohd Morshidi Abdul Gani.
Minister of Primary Industries of Brunei Dato Seri Ali Apong chaired the meeting at Empire Hotel on Wednesday with Second Foreign and Trade Minister Erywan Yusof and Minister of Energy Dr Mat Suny Mohd Hussein on behalf of the Brunei government.
The meeting also resolved that the bilateral cooperation committee and the working committee would continue to meet for the mutual benefit of Sarawak and Brunei.
Figure 2: Abang Johari (right on red carpet), flanked on his right by Uggah and Awang Tengah on his left, at Istana Nurul Iman after an audience with the Sultan and Prime Minister of Brunei.
Awang Tengah said the meeting was to update the committee on the progress and further discussion on cooperation in agriculture, tourism, energy, telecommunication, border trade and development issues.
He said the chief minister stressed that there is a need to continue the good collaboration between both sides through bilateral cooperation which was initiated by Sarawak Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud during his tenure as Chief Minister of Sarawak.
Abang Johari stressed that the bilateral ties extended beyond economic cooperation to strengthening friendship between the people of Sarawak and Brunei.
According to Awang Tengah, in the energy sector, negotiation is ongoing between both parties on interconnection between Tudan in Miri and Lumut in Brunei while the state is also open to the idea of more than 10 per cent equity stake in the Trusan Dam project offered to Brunei previously if Brunei is interested.
He said the meeting also touched on joint tourism efforts, leveraging Brunei’s international air linkages with tourism events and products in Brunei and Sarawak.
On agriculture, Sarawak is also keen to pursue the proposed comparative advantages of cooperation between Brunei and Sarawak on livestock production hub, paddy plantation and aquaculture involving Limbang, Temburong and Lawas, he added.
He also said the synergy between Sarawak’s halal food production and Brunei’s halal branding should be actively pursued with an eye on the huge halal food market, particularly in the Middle East countries.
After the meeting, Abang Johari and the ministerial delegation were granted an audience with the Sultan and Prime Minister of Brunei, HRH Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, at Istana Nurul Iman in the afternoon.
The group later visited the Sungai Kebun site of the nearly completed longest bridge in Asean linking Brunei mainland with its physically separated Temburong district, bypassing Limbang, which would slash travelling time from Bandar Seri Begawan to the district by almost half an hour.
Queen Saleha anak Pengiran granted an audience to Abang Johari’s wife Datin Patinggi Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang and her group prior to a visit to Brunei’s arts and handicrafts training centre before leaving for home.[Source: “Sarawak to set up trade, tourism office in Brunei Darussalam” published by BorneoPost Online]
Photo Credits: BorneoPost Online