PUERTO PRINCESA: The number of Sabahan businessmen visiting Palawan to scout for potential business opportunities is on the rise.
BIMP-EAGA Kudat Business Council (BEBC) vice-chairman Datuk James Ibrahim attributed the affirmative reaction from the local business community because of the much talk-about launching of the Kudat-Palawan Roll-On-Roll-Off ferry service anytime before the year ends.
“There are more Sabahans now visiting the province to look for possible joint business ventures and other trading activities … this is because our local businessmen are optimistic that the Kudat-Palawan connectivity project promises ample of opportunities both for Sabahans and Palaweneos,” said James.
With the planned development projects to be implemented by incumbent Governor Jose C. Alvarez with his remaining years in office, he said Sabah can play as a major supplier of construction materials, water and power supplies, actively participate in the development of the tourism, agriculture, acqua-marine, human resource sectors and even in other fields among others.
“The group who are now in Puerto Princesa City comprises businessmen from the sectors of furniture, hotel, automotive repair and body shop, flour supplier, including power supply … they came here to see for themselves the opportunities Palawan is offering to the businessmen and investors, especially from Sabah,” the vice-chairman added.
James said Cement Industries Sabah (CIS) chairman Datuk Samsudin Yahya together with its chief executive officer Bahrul Razha Chuprat and manager Melvyn Yong are also with the group to discuss further with WTIE Enterprise on the possiblity of closing a business deal.
He said the Sabah delegation early Thursday morning paid a courtesy call to Alvarez at the provincial office in the city where the executive officer briefed the visitors on the many business opportunties.
Late last month WTIE president cum CEO William Tan had expressed the company’s sincere desire to buy cement from CIS.
After the courtesy call, the CIS group also attended a meeting with Tan at his residence to further discuss and pave way for the realization of the business deal.
During the discussion, Tan expressed his hope that the planned buying of cement from Sabah will be concealed sooner than expected.
“The meeting was described by both parties as friendly and very promising,” James stressed.
Meanwhile, Samsudin in expressing his satisfaction, thanked Tan for the hospitality extended to them.
“With the way the meeting was carried out, I am also hopeful that the deal between CIS and WTIE will come true,” the chairman said.
Samsudin also thanked Alvarez for the opportunities being extended to Sabah.
“Palawan is a great province and working together with the Palaweneos would mean lots of benefits to the Sabahans,” he further expressed.
Towards this end, he advised other businessmen in Sabah to visit the province and see for themselves the business opportunities being offered to them in the province.
“Let’s not take this golden opportunity for granted and allow China and other foreign entrepreneurs to by-pass Sabah,” he added.