Sabah ready for improved ties with Indonesia after new capital named

KOTA KINABALU: With Indonesia's plan to relocate its capital to Kalimantan taking off, Sabah is looking forward to enhancing trade ties with the neighbouring country.

Chief MInister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor expressed optimism about his hope for better ties following Indonesia's announcement on Monday on the name of its new capital – Nusantara.

Hajiji said that while Sabah and Indonesia have had two-way trade and other dealings all along, this new development is set to further strengthen their relations and benefit both nations economically.

“As we all know, the capital of Indonesia will be moved to Kalimantan and called Nusantara.

"The shift of Indonesia’s capital city will give more economic and trade opportunities between Sabah and Kalimantan,” he said.

Hajiji noted that the state is already enjoying good ties with Indonesia, for example, through the BIMP-EAGA.

BIMP-EAGA – the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area – is a joint initiative established in 1994 to spur development in remote and less developed areas in the participating countries.

Earlier, Hajiji was present at the Sabah International Convention Centre to witness the signing of memoranda of understanding between the state government and three companies – Borneomed Sdn Bhd (large-scale herb planting), SBH Kibing Solar New Materials (M) Sdn Bhd, and Yayasan Sabah and Pavilion Kota Kinabalu Sdn Bhd (for the development of Pavilion Harbour City).

“All these projects will spur the state's economic growth and provide job opportunities. Now, many Sabahans are working outside Sabah and outside the country.

"With these projects, locals do not need to search outside the state for jobs," the Chief Minister said.

He cited the Pavilion Harbour City project as one that is expected to generate some 4,000 job openings and investments of between RM2bil and RM3bil.

“The other projects will also see hundreds of job opportunities available for our locals when they start within the next few years.

"This is why we must boost economic activities in Sabah, for our people and for the state,” he said.

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