Loo (seated 3rd left) with other office bearers during the BIMP EAGA Business Council meeting in Sandakan.

SANDAKAN: During the recent BIMP EAGA Business Council (BeBC) meeting conducted here, many issues were discussed on how to spur the economy of Sandakan.

The meeting was attended by Datuk Roselan Johar (Malaysia Chairman), Carl Moosom (Sabah Chairman), Dato Seri Loo Yap Kiang (Sandakan Chairman) and other council members.

Amongst some of the issues discussed in depth was the barter trade system. Besides that, there was also discussion on the tourism issues in Sandakan.

‘I will be leading a team to Palawan from Aug 15 to 17  to introduce Sandakan to the participants in the 1st Northern Palawan BIMP EAGA Business Tourism Forum cum Business Matching and Expo.

Then I will be leading another team to the BIMP EAGA Trade Facilitation meeting in Davao from Aug 28 to 29 where there will be business meeting and business matching on said dates. It is going to be an exciting year for BeBC Sandakan,’ said Loo.

Meanwhile,  Head of Tourism for BeBC Johnny Lim welcomes Malindo Airlines who will be flying from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan commencing Aug 18. He also welcomes Royal Brunei who will be flying from Brunei direct to Sandakan once all the neccessary approval is obtained.

Further to that, he hopes that AirAsia and Malindo airlines will consider to retime the morning flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan so that passengers will be able to arrive Sandakan before 8.00 am giving them a chance to be able to visit Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre at the 10.00 am feeding as the current timing is not suitable for them.

He also recommended that there should be flight from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu that arrives Kota Kinabalu before 8.30 am so government officials and businessman will be able to attend meetings that normally start at 9.00 am. There should also be a night flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan so business travellers and tourists could come to Sandakan at a later time. The latest flight currently is at 5.15 pm.

‘I have spoken to some government officials and according to them, for a meeting that starts at 9.00 am, they need to fly in a day earlier to KK and because the meeting is expected to finish at 4.00 pm, he needs to stay another night in KK. So for a meeting that could have been done in a day trip if there were available flights, the government officials has to stay 2 nights in KK. With the new government that encourage proper spending and savings, I hope that this matter will be looked into seriously,’ said Johnny.

While welcoming the airlines into Sandakan, he hopes that the Sandakan airport runway extension will be able to commence its work before the end of the year. It has been the quest of Sandakan people to look forward to upgrade the status of the Sandakan Airport when it meets the necessary criteria as the  international status in the later years to be the 2nd International entry point for Sabah on the East Coast.

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