TAWAU, Aug 17 — Indonesia’s plan to shift its capital to Kalimantan is expected to boost Tawau’s economy by virtue of their geographical contiguity as Borneo Island.

Indonesian Consulate Tawau chief Sulistijo Djati Ismojo cited tourism as one of the economic potentials for the district which shares a border with North Kalimantan.

“I am convinced that Tawau being so close to the capital will inevitably be a draw for Indonesian tourists, so Tawau must be prepared to capitalise on the influx,” he told reporters at an event to celebrate the republic’s 74th Independence Day here today.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo on the eve of the country’s 74th independence anniversary proposed in his state of the union speech to parliament, to relocate the capital from Jakarta to Kalimantan.

Sulistijo is also optimistic that the developments being planned for the border town between Malaysia and Nunukan, Indonesia on Pulau Sebatik would transform the landscape of the area in terms of visitor arrival.

“We are enthusiastic about the development of this border town and it is certainly our hope to see both sides thriving and being the bridge to further cement ties between both countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the number of Indonesians in Tawau has increased due to the demand for plantation workers.

He noted that Tawau needed manpower for its oil palm industry while Indonesians come to the district to look for jobs and earn a living.  

“We thank the Sabah state government for facilitating oil palm plantation operators’ requirement in getting valid work passes for Indonesians,” he added. — Bernama