China-made ferry boats for inter-island trips in Sabah

 

By JASON JACK EBIT

KOTA KINABALU: China-made ferry boats, with capacity between 80-100 passengers, are bigger and safer than boats currently in use in the booming tourism business especially in the east coast of Sabah.

Datuk Frankie C.T. Liew, the President of the Sabah branch of Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) made the proposal to Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew during a courtesy call on Monday.

Frankie also stated that Chinese investors are very interested to tap into the potential of some Sabah islands which can be developed as hotspots for tourists.

“On behalf of the State Government, I welcome Chinese investors who are keen to come and invest in Sabah’s burgeoning tourism industry,” said Christina, who is also a Deputy Chief Minister.

Christina also thanked the MCCC group who exchanged fruitful ideas in promoting bilateral trade between China and Sabah, as well as wooing Chinese investments for tourism development or growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Sabah.

“We are interested in encouraging locals to joint venture with Chinese investors, thereby creating job opportunities for our young people,” she added, emphasizing that Chinese tourists’ purchasing power must be capitalized given the country’s rise as an economic powerhouse.

“In this regard, I encourage individual entrepreneurs and business to aggressively promote their products. These must be attractively packaged and reasonably priced to catch their attention.”

When asked about MCCC Sabah Branch’s proposal on “Visa on Arrival Only” for tourists from China, she responded by saying that at the moment, the government does not have this policy in place and such policy needs to be approved by the Cabinet and announced by the Chief Minister.

Christina has also accepted an invitation to be the guest of honour for Sabah Branch MCCC’s Mooncake Festival celebration on September 7.

MCCC is a non-government, non-profit, multi-ethnic business association founded in 1990. The association aims at promoting interaction, cooperation and development in trade, investment and other industrial and commercial fields between Malaysia and China as well as protecting the interests of the members.

Also present were the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai, MCCC Sabah Branch first Vice President cum President of SME Association of Sabah Foo Ngee Kee Vice-President Dato’ Soh Poh Soon, Secretary Michael Chin Wee Yee, Deputy Secretary Tan Siew Ling, and Treasurer Brett Chua, as well as Council Members.

 
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New Sabah Times