Borneo expanding business with China inevitable
John Teo | 06 Apr 2018 00:30
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IF one were to take a cursory look at any map of Southeast Asia – still very much at the crossroads of Asia in terms of being the market-place for both goods and political ideas – that huge blob of landmass that is Borneo lies unmistakably smack in the middle of it all.

Despite such geographic (perhaps even strategic) centrality, this major island – home to less than 20 million people in total – remains largely at the periphery of all the dynamism that the whole region is justifiably known for.

As the entire Asian region makes further economic advances and particularly with the rise of China and its rapidly evolving 1.3-billion strong, middle-class economy, Borneo’s diffidence and seeming indifference to the powerful political and economic forces sweeping all around it simply cannot stand idly by.

The island is very obviously the last main frontier landmass of the region with a long coastline (over a thousand kilometres long) fronting the South China Sea. If it cannot remain a frontier for much longer whether it chooses to be or not, the question that naturally arises is in what shape its development will take, going forward.

There is one clear answer as to why Borneo has remained a frontier outpost this long despite its very advantageous position vis-a-vis Southeast Asia and the larger region. That has to do with political leadership.