KOTA KINABALU: Borneo island is expected to be an engine of growth in this region as Indonesia gears efforts towards moving its capital to Kalimantan, according to an Economics professor.
Prof Datuk Dr Kasim Mansur of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) said this is expected to happen in a few years time, and neighbouring Sabah and Sarawak are expected to gain from the move.
As major cities in this part of South-East Asia become congested and polluted, opening a new city can attract investors and tourists, he said to The Star.
“Yes, economic spillover takes years, not overnight.
“Most importantly, we look at Borneo as an island plentiful in resources in all aspects compared with other places in Asia.
“But for the economic impact to take place, both countries (Indonesia and Malaysia) have to capitalise what we have currently, and establish linkages, ” he said.
Asked about security and immigration aspects, Prof Kasim said collaboration in these areas can be tightened, while noting overseeing and guarding security at the open sea is more difficult than on land.
In terms of tourism, he said the Indonesian government is expected to open new infrastructure such as airports or further develop existing ones.
“Borneo is a land of opportunities. The place is ‘green’ and potential is high to be the ‘food basket’ of the world if not the region.
“It is already known to the world all over and has a lot to offer.
“But the strategy has to be right to begin with... applications and adoption of the right strategy are paramount in this era of IR4.0 (fourth industrial revolution) as well as digital economics, ” he said.
As for the fate of Jakarta, Prof Kasim believed it will remain as it is for some years and in the long run, can be turned into a good city to live, and as a centre of business opportunities.