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Borneo, Sarawak, Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), Sarawak Economy, Sarawak Tourism

MASwings direct links to boost trade, tourism for Sarawak

THE new regional destinations for MASwings, which Sarawak and Sabah are set to be major shareholders of, would likely boost trade and tourism for both states, as well as the other countries in the region.

In an interview with Bernama, BIMP-EAGA Business Council (Sabah Chapter) chairman Roselan Johar Mohamed said the move was in line with the region’s main aim of bridging the economic gap among member states.

BIMP-EAGA is the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

He is quoted as saying that “economic disparities can be narrowed if the people can come together to do trade as and when opportunities arise. The destinations are so near yet our people are so far apart. This is not good for us”.

Thanks to MASwings, soon these destinations will be a lot closer. Having Sarawak and Sabah as major shareholders should hopefully mean that, for once, East Malaysia will have greater control of flights according to our needs.

Hopefully entrepreneurs in Sarawak will grab the new opportunities that will soon open up.

This soon-to-be connectivity also augurs well for the development of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) and its various growth nodes.

In case you didn’t know, SCORE’s five growth nodes are Tanjung Manis, Mukah, Samalaju, Baram and Tunoh.

The Mukah Node will be developed into a Smart City and will serve as the nerve centre for SCORE, while the Tanjung Manus Node will be developed into an industrial port city and major halal hub. Samalju Node will become the new heavy industry centre for the area and Baram and Tunoh will focus on tourism and resource-based industry.

How can potential investors come to the State if there are no convenient flights? How can tourists visit if flights are just not available to fit into their tight schedules? All these areas will definitely benefit from greater connectivity to the region.

The opportunities are there. The question is what are you doing to grab them and do your part for the State?

The Bernama story:

Soon-to-be-launched Direct Air Links To BIMP-EAGA Set To Boost Trade, Tourism

An exclusive by Newmond Tibin

KOTA KINABALU, Nov 30 (Bernama) — Soon-to-be-launched direct air links by MASwings to the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) destinations should boost trade and tourism within the sub-region, says BIMP-EAGA Business Council (Sabah Chapter) chairman Roselan Johar Mohamed.

Describing MASwings’ decision as a wise move, he said, it was aptly in line with the sub-region’s main aim to bridge the economic gap among member states.

“The economic disparities can be narrowed if the people can come together to do trade as and when opportunities arise. The destinations are so near yet our people are so far apart. This is not good for us.

“MASwings is literally promoting travel and tourism and subsequently yielding more trade for our people. Trade is a crucial area for our nation.

“Money will change hands and our economy will become more vibrant, which is good for investors,” he told BERNAMA when asked to comment on the significance of MASwings’ plan to launch the first phase of its BIMP-EAGA operations to Brunei and Kalimantan by early near year.

MASwings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) currently serves Sabah and Sarawak.

Its chief executive officer Mohd Nawawi Awang was quoted as saying recently that the foray into international destinations marked another milestone in the airlines’ history.

It would pave the way for many people to travel to Sabah and Sarawak, increase tourist arrivals and open up more business avenues, he said.

Welcoming this initiative, Roselan hoped the much-awaited approval for MASwings to operate the flights would come fast, with no more unnerving delays.

“The public must share the sentiments that all business enterprises must be allowed to start their business fast because the nation expects the private sector to do the spending.

“If unnecessary delays occur, then Malaysia will be pushed backward,” said Roselan, a prominent figure in Sabah’s shipping industry.

He said the people should also be grateful to AirAsia which has made air travel very cheap to everyone.

“I’m very sure the earlier travellers have now become successful business people. I’m glad that MASwings is now doing the same thing except that they are flying to places which AirAsia may have overlooked.

“This simply means that we cannot afford to have competition for new routes that MASwings is about to start, at least for now, later perharps,” he added.

The BIMP-EAGA was established in 1994 as a collaborative initiative by Brunei. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, all of which are Asean member nations.

In a joint statement after the conclusion of the BIMP-EAGA Ministerial Meeting in Cagayan De Oro, in the Philippines, recently, the four countries agreed to find ways to improve air connectivity in the region.

This include initiatives to expand air links with possible additional destinations outside the sub-region.

— BERNAMA

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