By THE BORNEOTODAY TEAM
KOTA KINABALU: Faced with global economic uncertainties, it is important for Sabah to venture into new markets to expand its economy, says Datuk Badil Zaman, chairman of The Society Empowerment and Economic Development of Sabah (SEEDS).
He said Sabahans need not look too far as for one such location, North Kalimantan has huge economic potential, with its estimated population of 25 million covering five provinces.
And with the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway, traders from Sabah and North Kalimantan are expected to mutually benefit from the economic activities in the two territories, he said.
With this in mind, SEEDS and KADIN (Kamar Dagang dan Industri Indonesia), a body that represents the various trade associations in Indonesia, will be signing a MOU in April to formally establish a framework of cooperation on trade related programmes.
Badil Zaman also said that as a forerunner to this framework, SEEDS has undertaken to organise a roundtable discussion on trade opportunities in North Kalimantan today (Friday) at TH Hotel Tabung Haji.
“The discussion will be attended by business chambers and trade associations based in Sabah,” he pointed out, saying the discussion is initiated to provide the platform for business players in Sabah to explore trade potentials in North Kalimantan and to establish contacts with trading communities in the fast developing province.
“The discussion will be guided by two main questions: what are the prospects/challenges/ issues/concerns of doing business with North Kalimantan? And, what can/should be done to address those prospects/challenges/issues/concerns.”
According to Badil Zaman, the discussion hopes to identify key areas of cooperation between the business groups in Sabah and North Kalimantan.
It also hopes to pave the way for formalising cooperation between key stakeholders from the two territories in order to fully maximise trade opportunities in the region.
SEEDS will act as a facilitator of the discussion.
The roundtable discussion is the first of a series of discussions organised by SEEDS to address issues of mutual economic cooperation between the business communities in Sabah and North Kalimantan.