Kota Kinabalu: Sabah and the Australian State of Tasmania have a lot in common in terms of tourism and forestry, which may thus pave the way for a sister-state relationship.
Senior Vice President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Tasmania Branch), Paul Harris, said this to Daily Express while visiting the State Legislative Assembly Speaker, Datuk Juhar Mahiruddin, here Monday.
Harris, who was on a three-day visit to Sabah to study its forestry and tourism industries, said there is a great possibility for the two states to enter a mutually beneficial economic relationship.
"Tasmania's main industries are tourism and forestry, which is also the case in Sabah.
"Forestry contributes to 7.5 per cent of Tasmania's gross state product, while Sabah near 10 per cent, so the industry is important to both states," he said.
Citing China's province of Fujian, with which, Tasmania has a sister-state relationship, Harris said he would urge the Tasmanian Government to investigate the possibility of forging a similar relationship with Sabah.
According to him, the southern State of Australia is regarded to have the best practices in forestry.
"From such bilateral arrangement, both states can send their forestry workers to the other side to undergo training," he said, adding both can learn from each other.
On Wednesday, Harris is due to fly to Sibu, Sarawak, to meet with officials of local company, Ta Ann Holdings Berhad, which would inject A$60 million (RM168mil) into the Tasmanian economy to build a timber-processing mill.
Source: Daily Express