China and Sabah will forge closer ties in areas concerning the economy, trade, local government and personnel exchange, said Liang Caide, the Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu. (pix by MALAI ROSMAH TUAH)

KOTA KINABALU: China and Sabah will forge closer ties in areas concerning the economy, trade, local government and personnel exchange, said Liang Caide, the Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu.

“The Consulate General will continue to make efforts in realising a win-win cooperation between China and Kota Kinabalu.

“We will support the synergy of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Sabah’s development plan by strengthening and deepening our bilateral cooperation,” he said during a briefing on China’s diplomatic policies and BRI here today.

BRI is a development strategy launched by the Chinese government with the intention of promoting economic co-operation among countries along the proposed Belt and Road routes.

Liang said following the development of BRI, more Chinese enterprises would come to the state capital seeking cooperation opportunities with local companies.

Those enterprises, he said, specialised in the fields of infrastructure, energy, information and communications, agriculture and fishery, among others.

He also said several Chinese enterprises have in agriculture, tourism, biotechnology and aquaculture in Sabah.

He said some large enterprises, such as China National Complete Plant Import and Export Corporation and Huawei, had signed cooperation memoranda with local partners to spur economic growth in the state.

He said the memoranda were related to the Sipitang Industrial Fertiliser project, a regional information, communications and technology hub, a 50 MW Utility-Scale PV plant, the Guangdong Agribusiness Rubber Plantation, and the International Convention Center, among others.

“These Chinese enterprises will bring in funds, technology and other resources to the projects, creating jobs and boosting the economy.

“We hope that the Sabah enterprises will establish close relations with more Chinese enterprises to jointly promote the growth of bilateral trade and investment.”

He said local tourism sector was a major industry that would be explored by China to create a win-win situation.

He said last year, 430,000 Chinese tourists visited Sabah, an increase of 15 per cent from 2016.

There are currently 95 direct flights between Kota Kinabalu and Chinese cities weekly, with the most recent addition being Xiamen Airlines’ direct route between Beijing and the city.

“I believe there will be more direct flights, which will attract more Chinese tourists to this beautiful ‘Land Below the Wind’.”

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