“We went to Singkawang to meet members of the local Chamber of Commerce as a follow up to our initial meeting during the Sarawak Expo, in which Singkawang City’s participation was big,” Consulate General Prayitno stated on Tuesday.
During the initial meeting, talks were ongoing on visiting Singkawang in order to strengthen the relationship with local chambers.
Prayitno further noted that the meeting in Singkawang had surpassed the expectations, as the entourage was greeted by the Singkawang mayor. He then seized the opportunity to highlight his aspirations for stronger relations between Singkawang and Sarawak, in terms of trade and industry.
“Partnership in micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will be heightened, and we also hope for Singkawang to continue participation in the next expo in Sarawak. We have also received an invitation from Madame Mayor of Singkawang for Sarawak to participate in the Singkawang Expo this coming August,” he stated.
Prayitno also affirmed that he will give confirmation in the next week or two on the products that will be brought from Sarawak and showcased in the expo.
He believed that Singkawang and Sarawak shared mutual interests. “For instance, some products might exist in Singkawang but not in Sarawak. Hence, we can bring these products for sale to Sarawak and the other way around,” he noted.
Moreover, tourism products and destinations in each area can be promoted in the other.
Meanwhile, Mayor of Singkawang Tjhai Chui Mie welcomed the partnership initiative on offer.
She is keen on exploring which specific items can be incorporated in the trade partnership and can ensure mutual benefits for both sides.
“Before signing the memorandum of understanding, however, we need to observe how the game plan is, considering this partnership will be between two countries, Indonesia and Malaysia. When it is agreed on, we can strengthen the partnership again and become Sister Cities,” she stated.
Once the partnership is established, she is optimistic that the revitalized roads, such as Aruk, would reduce the travel time from Singkawang to Kuching Sarawak and vice versa.
She believed that the works of President Joko Widodo for infrastructure development had provided opportunities that should be capitalized upon to boost the people’s welfare, especially the people of Singkawang.
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EDITED BY INE