MELAKA, Oct 23 -- Melaka will strengthen its bilateral ties with Indonesia in the fields of air transportation, health tourism, and education, said Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari.
He also said the state government through private companies are planning to open a new route connecting Melaka, Jakarta, and China, which was expected to be realized by early next year.
“We, at the state government level have met with the Jakarta Governor recently to discuss those initiatives, and they (Indonesia) basically agreed because it will bring benefits to both Melaka and Jakarta.
“The matter needs to be discussed and coordinated with further details to ensure the new route can be opened early next year,” he told reporters after a walkabout in Little India here in conjunction with the Deepavali celebration, last night.
Commenting further, Adly said Jakarta was also interested to invest in the health tourism industry in the state, especially in the field of nursing through the Islamic University College of Melaka (KUIM).
Through the collaboration, Adly added the Indonesian students will be studying at KUIM as the nursing courses offered at the institution are recognised both locally and internationally.
“The partnership would indirectly upgrade KUIM’s status as a university college to a full university in the future. One of the criteria to achieve full university status is to have a large number of foreign students,” he said.
In another development, Adly said the state government would set up a village emporium in several areas, especially in the tourist centres, to market and promote rural products.
He added such initiatives were aimed at generating more rural entrepreneurs, in addition to ensuring the high-value-added products could be marketed and reduce competition from major brand products.
“We have identified several existing sites or buildings that can be converted into the village emporiums and these will be implemented soon,” he said.