Indonesia and Malaysia Enter a New Phase to Deepen Bilateral Economic Ties

Serudong -- Simanggaris interconnection road plan opens new opportunity for Indonesia's SMEs expands to Malaysia market.

JAKARTA, Indonesia, May 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Malaysia now strengthens its position as a regional hub for tech start-ups. The launch of Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) in Malaysia, as the world's first digital trade platform outside China to create 60,000 jobs, plays a key role to boost the Southeast Asia's ecommerce boom. In Sabah, the region now allocates RM 44.4 million, or more than IDR 150 billion, for up to 102 incubators through SDC entrepreneurship development programs, to encourage innovation of all SMEs and startups, as remarked by Tan Sri Musa Aman (Musa Aman) Sabah Chief Minister.

Optimizinc, an Indonesian-based instant solution platform for micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), sees this as opportunities for SMEs and startups in Indonesia to tap into Malaysia market. "I believe our bilateral economic relationship is entering a new phase. Now, Indonesia needs to keep building new opportunities for its SMEs to capitalize on the burgeoning Malaysia market," said Annisa M Azwan, Marketing Director of Optimizinc. Founded in 2017, Optimizinc has contributed to succeed up to 71 Indonesia's SMEs last year.

Aiming to transform Sabah into an economic driven by high-technology industries, the region builds interconnection road between Serudong (Sabah, Malaysia) and Simanggaris (North Kalimantan, Indonesia) -- to be completed by 2019. "It will be a great exchange opportunity for both countries. North Kalimantan will provide abundance of natural resources and processed agriculture, while Sabah will convey technology and knowledge that can be obtained by cross-border value chains," Annisa M Azwan adds.

North Kalimantan remains a strong export market to Sabah, such as coffee and palm oil. In 2017, the value of exports of coffee to Sabah reached IDR 14 billion per month. To support the rapid economic changes, Musa Aman later launched, an online portal to help local producers to expand their market reach. "The fast-paced innovation of SMEs will change the way young entrepreneurs sell their products," said Annisa M Azwan. With such potential exports and plans, several institutions, such as Malaysia International Chamber of Commerce & Industry and BIMP-EAGA Business Council of Kinabalu considered to invest in North Kalimantan.

Musa Aman also provides a special fund of RM 105 million, or more than IDR 370 billion, for Sabah's government bodies and ministries to initiate new industries development. To further enhance the tourism industry, the government of Sabah will develop Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC), a Meeting, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector. Expected to be completed this year, it can accommodate up to 5,000 people and create 10,000 jobs; another chance to showcase new jobs opportunities for Indonesian and whereabouts.

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