Tourism, a great area for Singapore & Sarawak to jointly work on
Last Update: 16/08/2019
By Massita Ahmad
SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Bernama) -- Tourism is a great area for Singapore and Sarawak to work on together, said the republic’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.
He said as the world progresses, the demand for eco-tourism as well as cruise tourism are growing tremendously.
“So there are at least two, three areas just in the area of tourism that we can work on together,” said Chan in his speech at the Sarawak-Singapore Business Forum and Expo 2019 held here today.
The Sarawak-Singapore Business Forum and Expo 2019 is organised in conjunction with the official opening of the Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore (STATOS).
Also present was Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who earlier officially launched the state’s Trade and Tourism Office.
“For many Singaporeans, anywhere within a two-hour flight would be considered a weekend getaway, and Kuching is definitely within a two-hour flight.
“We hope to be able to step up the number of flights between Singapore and Kuching, and to other parts of Sarawak as well,” Chan said.
Currently, Scoot, the low-cost arm of the Singapore Airlines Group, flies to Kuching.
The Minister also expressed hope that more Singapore companies will be able to link up with STATOS so that they can continue to promote trade.
Chan noted that ever since he took over the trade and industry portfolio, he has always asked his team to work very hard to see how they can strengthen their economic trade and tourism links with Sarawak and Sabah.
“And Sarawak has accepted our invitation to set up the STATOS. We do not see this as an end. In fact, we see this as the start of an even stronger relationship between Singapore and Sarawak,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to Abang Johari, Sarawak and Singapore have a long history of economic ties through trade and investment since the 1960s.
The volume of trade has grown almost 11 times from merely US$0.07 billion (US$1=RM4.17) in 1960 to US$0.71 billion in 2018.
Abang Johari said Singapore is Sarawak’s top eight trading partners and contributed about 2.0 per cent of the state’s total trade which amounted to US$35.60 billion in 2018.
The major commodity goods exported to Singapore are mineral fuels and lubricants, machinery and transport equipment, food, and chemicals while Sarawak’s imports from Singapore are mainly fuels and machinery for development purposes.
There are at least 30,000 people from Sarawak currently working in Singapore.