Rise in rubber and rubber-based exports proof of sector’s continuing growth

Posted on : 19-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

SHAH ALAM — The rise in the value of exports of rubber and rubber-based products of RM5.3 billion or 38.5 per cent for the first seven months of the year is proof of the sector’s continued growth in the future.

Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong also said RM19.1 billion in export value of rubber and rubber-based products was recorded for the seven months compared to RM13.8 billion for the corresponding period of 2016.

He said public perception that the rubber industry was not important needs to be changed as the commodity is now capable of generating high value products for various sectors, including building engineering or bridges.

“Without us realising it, Malaysia has the among best technology and expertise in the rubber industry in the world, with our products being the choice of of other countries due to its high quality.

“As such, the government strongly encourages industry players to cooperate with universities to continue with research and develop more innovations to further enhance the country’s rubber industry,” he told reporters here today.

Mah added that the increase in total natural rubber exports of 682,131 metric tonnes for the first seven months of 2017 compared to 568,279 metric tonnes for the same period of last year, also showed that the sector was not stagnant, but rather, improving and receiving the attention of the world due to its importance in a particular area.

Earlier, he witnessed the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and Doshin Rubber Products (M) Sdn Bhd.

UiTM was represented by its Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Industry, Community and Alumni Network) Prof Dr Zaini Abdullah and Doshin Rubber Products by its director, Or Tan Teng

The MoU is the result of a large scale strategic research partnership in place from 2013 and aimed at improving infrastructure as well as Malaysia’s safety in the field of earthquake engineering and dynamic structures.

Meanwhile, Mah reminded rubber tappers and smallholders who had yet to register for the Rubber Authority Transaction Permit Cards (PAT-G) under the supervision of the Malaysian Rubber Board to do so before Sept 30, to be eligible for the Rainy Season Assistance (BMT).

“We are looking at 440,000 tappers and rubber smallholders applying for the BMT, but to date, only 171,196 from this group have registered and applied with 81,196 having done so online from Sept 1 when applications opened.

“We hope more of the rubber tappers and smallholders will quickly apply to receive the BMT,” he said.

The BMT is a RM261 million financial assistance extended by the Federal Government to the affected groups to ensure their well-being during the rain season.

From this sum, RM200 monthly is extended for three months from November to January 2018.


Petronas Chemicals bags three awards (winner in The Best Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility, first runner-up for Most Organised Investor Relations and the Strongest Adherence to Corporate Governance)

Posted on : 18-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PCG) recently bestowed three awards for its excellence in corporate governance and stewardship at the ‘Institutional Investor Awards for Corporates’, held in Singapore.

The company emerged winner in the Best Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) category and named as first runner-up for two other categories namely the Most Organised Investor Relations and the Strongest Adherence to Corporate Governance.

Commenting on the award, PCG managing director/chief executive officer Datuk Sazali Hamzah, said, “We are honoured to accept the ‘Institutional Investor Awards for Corporates’ in these three categories.

“This prestigious awards recognise and honour corporations in the Southeast Asia region for their efforts in championing sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship and we are privileged to be included in list of recipients.

“Being recognised as the winner of strategic CSR programmes tonight has further strengthened our resolve to raise the bar in establishing many more far-reaching sustainability projects.

“As an ethical, social and environmentally responsible company, PCG fully appreciates the importance of contributing to the wellbeing of the environment and the people living in areas where we operate.

“All of our endeavours are aimed at achieving our commercial objectives while carrying out our responsibility towards sustainable  socioeconomic development and the environment,” he added.

Elaborating further, Datuk Sazali said, “PCG supports the Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad’s initiatives which encourage listed companies to adopt international best practice in disclosure, transparency and investor relations. PCG strictly adheres to these principles when communicating with our shareholders, analysts and regulators, and we are delighted that our efforts have been acknowledged through the ‘Most Organised Investor Relations’ and ‘Strongest Adherence to Corporate Governance’ awards.”

Organised by Alpha Southeast Financial, the Institutional Investor Awards for Corporates is an annual poll carried out to find Southeast Asia’s top ranking companies who are investors’ favourites.

This year, the votes came from more than 528 investors and analysts across the region as well as US and Europe. The participants include fund managers with investment interests in Southeast Asia, large institutional investors, insurance companies, pension funds, funds of hedge funds, private banks, equity and fixed income brokers as well as buy and sell-side analysts.

This year, a total of 24 Southeast Asian public listed companies were ranked based on their practices, be it on corporate governance, investor relations disclosure, transparency, financial management, integrated reporting, CSR and dividend policy.

Apart from PCG, there were five leading Malaysian companies that were also voted for the awards, namely: KLCC Property Holdings Berhad, Sime Darby Group, AmBank Group and Bursa Malaysia.

Also present at the awards ceremony were PCG’s chief financial officer, Rashidah Alias; head of corporate Affairs and Administration, Siti Azlina Latif; and Head of Investor Relations, Zaida Alia Shaari.

Commenting on the awards, Rashidah said, “Communicating directly and often in person with shareholders and analysts demonstrates PCG’s confidence in our strategy, and these award reflect the investment community’s confidence in PCG through our commitment to openness, transparency and maintaining a two-way interaction with financial markets.”


Celcom launches latest high-speed fibre internet in Sabah (11 areas)

Posted on : 18-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local Business

Celcom has finally launched its high-speed fibre internet services in Sabah at an event in Kota Kinabalu earlier today. The new Celcom Home Fibre and Celcom Business Fibre plans are now immediately available in various areas across the state.

The first new high-speed internet service announced by Celcom for Sabahan consumers is Home Fibre. This service comes in three categories: Home Fibre 120, Fibre 150, and Fibre 180. Celcom’s Home Fibre 120 features upload and download speeds of up to 10Mbps, while the Fibre 150 package comes with 20Mbps of internet speed. That said, the faster Home Fibre 180 has speeds of up to 40Mbps.

Interestingly, all Celcom Home Fibre packages also feature unlimited internet quota along with call rates of 10 sen per minute. Of course, Celcom will also provide its customers with a free wireless router as well. What makes these packages even more interesting is the fact that its existing Celcom First Gold Plus, Gold Supreme, Platinum, and Platinum plus users are also entitled to a special monthly rebate rate of RM 15 for the Fibre 150 and Fibre 180 internet packages.

Speaking of which, Celcom’s Home Fibre internet service are priced at RM120 (Home Fibre 120), RM 150 (Home Fibre 150), and RM180 (Home Fibre 180) respectively.

For the Business market, Celcom announced the Business Fibre internet service. Unlike the Home fibre service, Celcom’s Business Fibre comes in four categories: Business Fibre 10, Fibre 20, Fibre 40, and Fibre 100, which feature internet speeds of 10Mbps, 20Mbps, 40Mbps, and 100Mbps respectively – all with unlimited download quotas, of course.

Celcom Business Fibre internet packages are priced at RM 158 (Business Fibre 10), RM208 Business Fibre 20), RM288 (Business Fibre 40) and RM378 (Business Fibre 100) respectively.

Celcom’s Business Fibre packages are also endowed with free 300 minutes calls to all networks (8 sen per minute thereafter) and a special rebate rate of RM 20 monthly for up to 24 months. Additionally, business owner’s who register five Business Fibre lines or more are also entitled to an additional monthly rebate rate of RM20 per line.

It’s also worth mentioning that Celcom is collaborating with its counterpart, Celcom Timur Sdn Bhd, to provide its high-speed fibre internet services in Sabah. The company aims to cover at least 11 cities in Sabah by the end of 2017. Besides that, Celcom has also noted that other add-on services for its internet packages will be announced at a later date.


State’s first Agro Park in Sarikei

Posted on : 17-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National

SARIKEI: The first Agro Park in the state will be built in Sarikei next year – after all processes such as dividing the land into blocks have been completed.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, in disclosing this yesterday, said 500 acres of land located near the town, which had all the basic utilities such as water supply and electricity supply, had been approved for the Agro Park.

He said Sarikei was chosen for the pilot project based on the fact that agriculture was its economic strength and was home to dynamic farmers.

“The success of the pilot project would pave way for expansion to other areas,” he said when opening the Sarikei Innovation Centre (SIC) here, adding the next Agro Park would most likely be built in Samarahan which already had all the support facilities, especially Internet connectivity.

Saying that it was a new policy to lease land for agricultural purposes, the Chief Minister informed that the land would be divided into 50 blocks of 10 acres each which would be rented out to those genuinely interested in embarking not only on new technology to explore the potential of agriculture industry, but also those making use of the Internet to market their products.

He said this was to ensure that the land leased out by the government for agricultural purposes was not abused, pointing out from past experience that many successful applicants for agricultural land were not serious in developing them and, worst of all, sold the land to other parties.

Participants of the Agro Park needing financial assistance can apply for funds known as ‘Venture Capital’ from the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, he disclosed.

“Under the new policy, for the Agro Park the land is divided into blocks without any title issued, hence there is no room for abuse. Those who rent it either do the farming or have it taken back,” he explained.

This, he said, was also in line with the state government’s decision to shift the managing of its economic development from the traditional to the digital way. He believed switching to digital economy was the way forward, particularly to make Sarawak the most successful state in Malaysia by 2030.

Abang Johari explained that SIC was one of the main facilities to propel Sarikei towards becoming the Food Basket of Sarawak which, when combined with the Sadok Agropolitan being undertaken in Betong and Tanjung Manis Halal hub, would turn Sarawak into a regional food exporter.

He hoped local entrepreneurs would make full use of the SIC to explore modern agriculture such as fertigation method, censor technology, open market and so on.

Responding to a request made by Repok assemblyman Dato Sri Huang Tiong Sii on the urgency to have a road to directly link Sarikei to Tanjung Manis, the Chief Minister said that he was aware of the need and would make known his definite decision soon.

Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, in his speech, thanked the state government for setting up the SIC.

He believed the local people especially those involved in business stood to benefit from the centre which was aimed to connect the local communities and to propel an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Other than that, he said the centre would create spin-offs to the local economy which in turn would uplift the living standard of the people in Sarikei; create agricultural business opportunities; encourage youth involvement in entrepreneurship; assist the local communities into the age of digital economy and spur the setting of similar innovation centres in the surrounding districts.

Among those present were Abang Johari’s wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Gani and wife.


More than 60,000 attended Malaysia Day celebration

Posted on : 17-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU— More than 60,000 multi-racial people attended the national-level 2017 Malaysia Day celebration at Likas Sport Complex, here last night.

The celebration began at 8 pm upon the arrival of Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and wife Toh Puan Norlidah RM Jasni.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak and state ministers, as well as heads of federal and state agencies, were present.

During the celebration, Najib and Musa also signed the 2017 Malaysia Day Celebration Special Book before accompanying Juhar in cutting the Malaysia Day cake themed ‘Negaraku Sehati Sejiwa’.

The celebration continued with a special performance themed “Negara Sehati Sejiwa” which portrayed the success of Malaysia under the leadership of the prime minister through five segments namely: Shine Bright, Colours of Malaysia, One Voice (Satu Suara), Talent and Finale by 1,000 performers.

The performance featured the variety of singing and dancing arts, and the colourful of Malaysian cultures portraying the unity, consensus and harmony of multi-racial and religious communities in Malaysia.


MDEC aims to produce 20,000 data professionals by 2020

Posted on : 15-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) aims to have 20,000 data professionals by 2020, said its head of strategic partnership, N. Somasundaram.

He said there were currently 6,000 data professionals involved in various MDEC-related programmes.

“We are working with professional training providers and local universities in ensuring a sufficient supply of data professionals,” he told a press conference on the upcoming Big Data Week 2017 in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Somasundaram said this would help Malaysia to achieve its target of becoming Asean’s big data and analytics (BDA) hub by 2020.
Meanwhile, some 3,000 visitors are expected to attend the Big Data Week event, to be held from Oct 2-8 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Event highlights include the Next Big Tech Asia conference and hackathons, as well as a number of other activities which aims to increase public awareness on BDA.

Organised by Knowledge Group of Companies, Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) and MDEC, the event will feature 60 global experts and chief data scientists from leading organisations like Google, Facebook, Fusionex and iFlix sharing their experience in transforming data into valuable insights.

Knowledge Group managing director, N. Selva said the close collaboration between Malaysia’s key players like HRDF, MDEC and Fusionex was very encouraging for the development of data economy.

“MDEC’s continued support as a co-organiser is a testament to their commitment to their role as the custodian of the data economy initiative,” he added.


Mida approves RM1.3 bln DISF (Domestic Investment Strategic Fund) grant till July 2017

Posted on : 15-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

SUNGAI PETANI: The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) has approved grants totalling RM1.3 billion under the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF) since the fund was established in July 2012 until July this year.

Mida Executive Director, Strategic Planning (Manufacturing), Zabidi Mahbar, said the allocation involved 264 projects with investment value of RM12.8 billion.

“The approved grants were in the form of training grant, research and development grant, certification for international standards as well as licensing and high technology procurement.

“Out of the figure, 76 projects in Penang, 13 in Kedah, 10 in Perak and one project in Perlis received DISF grants with investment value of RM5.2 billion,” he told the media after attending the Northern Region Domestic Investment Seminar 2017 yesterday.

He also urged all players to take advantage of the facilities provided by the government to enable them to shift to a higher value chain.

“Besides the DISF grant, industry players can also capitalise on the automation capital allowance (ACA) introduced under Budget 2015 to encourage the use of automation in manufacturing.

“The scheme provides ACA of 200 per cent for labour-intensive industries such as rubber, plastic, wood, furniture and textile to assist these companies undertake technology transformation,” he said.

Up to June this year, only 41 applications were approved by Mida for this scheme and applications were expected to increase following the outreach programme carried out by the agency, he added.

Meanwhile, Zabidi said Mida was also planning an appropriate incentive to help local companies in technology transformation in line with the government’s announcement to create a special incentive for Industry 4.0.

“A high level task force that will formulate Industry 4.0 policy jointly led by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has been established to plan the policies, strategies and direction to develop Industry 4.0 in Malaysia.

“Mida is also cooperating with the task force to draw up the National Policy for Industry 4.0 that will be tabled at the Cabinet meeting in the fourth quarter of this year,” he said.

Zabidi also said the investment growth momentum in the country had seemingly strengthened even though the numbers until the middle of this year had not been announced yet.

Meanwhile, the one-day seminar organised by Mida was attended by over 200 participants.

It aimed to increase the awareness among the business community on the investment opportunities as well as facilities provided by the government, besides opening a platform for them to interact directly with various institutions at the federal and state level.


Hermes bags record profitability

Posted on : 15-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : International Business

Luxury goods maker Hermes said Thursday that good sales momentum across all of its divisions and in all regions helped it achieve a record profitability in the first six months.

“The performance in the first half confirmed the positive momentum of the ready-to-wear and accessories and the silk and textiles business lines,” Hermes said in a statement.

Growth in leather goods and saddlery was “sustained” and the perfumes division also booked an increase in sales, it said.

Overall, group revenues rose by 11 percent to 2.713 billion euros ($3.23 billion) in the period from January to June, Hermes said.

Underlying or operating profit was up 13 percent at 931 million euros — or an “all-time high” of 34.3 percent of sales — and net profit climbed by 11 percent to 605 million euros.

In regional terms, “revenues rose in all geographical areas worldwide,” Hermes said.

At a news conference, Hermes chief executive Axel Dumas hailed the group’s “very good profitability” and insisted it was attributable to “organic growth.”

But Dumas cautioned in a telephone news conference that Hermes was staying “prudent in a very volatile environment” and that the first-half performance could not be extrapolated for the whole year.

“In the medium-term, despite growing economic, geopolitical and monetary uncertainties around the world, the group confirms an ambitious goal for revenue growth at constant exchange rates,” the group statement said.


KKIP as Digital Free Trade Zone hub for Sabah – Raymond

Posted on : 15-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local Business

KOTA KINABALU: The Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) could become a digital free trade zone (DFTZ) for e-commerce and online businesses, in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0.

It already had a strong foundation with existing businesses and capacity, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Raymond Tan Shu Kiah.

When met by reporters at the Industry 4.0 and DFTZ outreach programme yesterday, Raymond said KKIP would be a good ground for implementation, as business is already there.

“In order for Industry 4.0 to work, you must have the right place, the right foundation. It is basically a process of change, where business can grow bigger and go global.

“We are pretty close to achieving that because you cannot look at this whole development right from the very bottom. You must look at what business has already been developed in KKIP.

“There are 280 existing operators of various businesses. They are going slow, but in our revolution of a changed process, once they get into internet business, we will be able to raise all 280 businesses to a higher level,” he said.

Raymond, who is also Minister of Industrial Development, added that internet businesses and e-commerce are things that some of us were already engaged with, thus emphasising the importance of bringing such business operators together.

He further said it is important to introduce the DFTZ in order to encourage operators to go digital and be more aggressively into e-commerce.

“It should generate much more excitement and I’m looking at how we can enhance the internet service in KKIP. It needs to be enhanced with the right infrastructure of internet speed and accessibility.

“If we can enhance the infrastructure focused on a cluster of e-commerce operators in KKIP, I think that would, in a very short time, encourage more operators, entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to be engaged in driving industry 4.0.

“What we need to focus on is capacity building to encourage them to embrace Industry 4.0. Sabah does not want to be left out,” he added.

Earlier, SME Corporation Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohamed Al Amin Abdul Majid said SMEs should not fear the changes needed, but instead be bold enough to make the changes.

He advised operators and entrepreneurs to start with the aim of solving an existing problem in the production process, as well as to approach training institutions such as the Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC) and German-Malaysia Institute (GMI).

Mohamed added that with the DFTZ, SME Corp Malaysia aspired to double the export growth rate of SME goods to reach US$38 billion, create 60,000 jobs and facilitate US$65 billion worth of goods movement, all by 2025.


Sabah set for Malaysia Day

Posted on : 15-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is all set to host this year’s Malaysia Day celebrations, which starts on Sept 15.

Workers were seen putting the finishing touches to the stage, booths as well as canopies for the three-day event which culminates on Sept 16.

Full rehearsals for the event have been conducted every evening since Wednesday.

Malaysia Day organising committee deputy secretary Mariam Omar Matusin said preparations are being finalised and the event would kick-start as scheduled on Friday.

Mariam, who is also Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment deputy permanent secretary, said the event, which will take place at the Sports Complex in Likas, is expected to draw thousands of visitors from near and far.

The Malaysia Day celebration will feature activities and programmes including products exhibitions, concerts by local artistes and booths set up by various government and non-governmental agencies.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to officiate at the event on Sept 16.

The events during these three days will start at 2pm.

Malaysia Day is celebrated to commemorate the formation of the Federation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963.

Repsol to increase Sabah Crude oil output

Posted on : 11-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Repsol Oil and Gas Malaysia will continue drilling potential wells in Block SB309 offshore Sabah in efforts to expand its business operations in the state.

Stakeholder relations manager Ahmad Fakhrurrazi Arshad said Repsol was focused in the upstream business, adding it currently operates the PM-3 Commercial Agreement Area project which straddles the Malaysia-Vietnam border.

Repsol also runs the PM-305 and PM-314 Blocks in the Peninsular Malaysia since 2002 and the Kinabalu Oil Production Sharing Contract (PSC) in Sabah since 2012.

Ahmad also said an increase its oil production to 18,000 barrels per day is also expected this year following the installation of a new production facility.

“This year represents a milestone year for our operations offshore Sabah when we installed a new production facility next to our current producing platform, Kinabalu.

“This additional installation will see an increase in our production in Sabah to some 18,000 barrels per day of crude oil,” he told media fraternity at the Repsol Sabah Media Get Together event in Tanjung Aru, here.

Present were Sabah Journalist Association president Mugutan Vanar and KK Journalist Association president Yong Ted Phin.

Repsol is a contractor to Petronas and a joint venture partner of Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd to develop and grow the oil and gas industry in Malaysia.

As for its corporate social responsibility endeavours, Ahmad said Repsol had sponsored over 20 scholars from Universiti Malaysia Sabah to enable them to pursue engineering courses and provided one-off cash aids for the less-fortunate children, who did well in their Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Form Three Assessment (PT3) examinations.

Under Repsol’s capacity building programmes, 80 single mothers from Bongawan district had received training on the commercial production of salted eggs while 60 women from Tambunan district were trained to acquire bead making and traditional weaving skills.

“We are happy to report that these programmes have benefited thousands of Malaysians. As an example, over 7,500 primary schoolchildren from Sabah and Labuan benefited from the personal safety awareness programmes, which we initiated since 2013,” Ahmad said.

He added that since 2013, Repsol have also worked with the Sabah Thalassaemia Society and State Health Department to hold awareness forums and healthy lifestyle seminars among the Thalassaemia patients and the public.

“While we are focused on our business growth in Malaysia, we are equally passionate about giving back to the local community in which we operate. Our community investment programmes focus on education, safety, health and capacity building.


MNCs (Multinational Corporations) urged to work with SMEs to market halal products globally

Posted on : 11-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in Malaysia are encouraged to work with local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to market halal products to the global market, said Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He also urged local SMEs to boldly grab the opportunities to work with the MNCs to grow their businesses to the international markets.

“I suggest that local companies seek opportunities to work with MNCs to market their products internationally,” he said during the Halal Industry Dialogue Session with the Deputy Prime Minister here today.

He said this was in line with the government’s aspiration and commitment to further developing the nation’s halal industry to ensure it continued to expand and be at the forefront in terms of production, as well as, provision of halal services.

The halal industry was seen as a two-pronged strategy whereby besides contributing to the country’s economy, it had a huge export potential, he said.

Based on this potential, Ahmad Zahid said the government had targeted the number of export-ready SMEs to increase to 1,600 by 2020 compared with 1,257 companies in December last year.

The industry was expected to employ 330,000 workers by 2020 against 248,508 workers as of the end of last year.

Meanwhile, to ensure that the industry is always vibrant with the entry of new players, Ahmad Zahid urged the financial institutions to look not only at the risk in extending loans to the halal companies but also their future potentials.

The half-day dialogue was attended by about 1,000 participants representing the stakeholders in the halal industry from the private sector, non-governmental organisations, academicians and civil servants.

The dialogue aimed to collate feedback, proposals and views from the stakeholders on the direction of the country’s halal industry development.


Business events industry to generate more than RM3.9 bln in GNI (Gross National income) – Nazri

Posted on : 11-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR:  Malaysia’s business events industry is expected to generate more than RM3.9 billion in gross national income and bring in 2.9 million visitors by 2020, said Tourism and Culture Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

He said the industry would also offer 16,720 jobs and last year alone, 5.1 per cent of tourist arrivals came from business event visitors.

“Business events are a catalyst for socio-economic growth. The impact from hosting international business events not only stretches beyond direct spending and job creation, but also amplifies the benefits beyond tourism.

“The legacy impact will help power Malaysia’s continued development as a knowledge and creative society,” said Mohamed Nazri in his opening speech at the Malaysia Business Events Week 2017 yesterday.

Also present were Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) chief executive officer, Datuk Zulkefli Sharif and Economic Planning Unit deputy director general (Human Capital), Johan Mahmood Merican.

Mohamed Nazri said the industry was also linked to all National Key Economic Areas in high-growth sectors, including health, finance, investment an education.

“Within a one-year span and up to August 2017, we had secured an impressive 73 events, about 60,665 delegates and RM555.53 million in estimated economic impact,” he added.

He said topping the list was the medical and pharmaceutical sectors with 22 events, 20,900 delegates and RM166.45 million in estimated economic impact.

“This was followed by the education sector with nine events, 12,850 delegates and RM146.77 million in estimated economic impact, as well as the science and technology sector with 12 events, 5,663 delegates and RM57.1 million in estimated economic impact.

“These efforts have stimulated the industry to diversify its offerings and capitalise on numerous opportunities, where we look forward to having all ministries in Malaysia to be working in strategic collaboration with MyCEB, to build on Malaysia’s prominence as one of the region’s leading business events destination,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Nazri said the ministry had no intention to make it illegal for homeowners to rent out homes to tourists.

There is nothing wrong in doing so for extra income as hotels might not be available in all places, especially in rural areas, he said, citing Kota Marudu in Sabah as an example.

“There are not many hotels there and it’s a tourist destination. So many residents rent out their homes to tourists,” he said.

On another note, the minister said the tourism tax collection would, among others, be used by the ministry for tourism-related promotional activities and infrastructure development.


BioNexus-status firms to play more prominent role

Posted on : 11-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian BioNexus-status companies are expected to play a more prominent role as they undertake more aggressive commercialisation activities, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Datuk Seri Madius Tangau.

He said Malaysia now has a network of 286 BioNexus companies and moving forward, the country needed to sustain the momentum for more aggressive commercialisation activities from them.

“The strategy will focus on strengthening partnerships between the public and private sectors, aswellastoprovideadvisory and business support in the areas of funding, commercialisation, entrepreneurship, regulatory and human capital for the continual development of bio-based businesses,” he said at the opening BioMalaysia and Asia-Pacific Bioeconomy 2017 (BioMalaysia 2017) Conference and Exhibition.

The text of his speech was read by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Secretary- General, Datuk Seri Mohd Azhar Yahaya, who also launched the event here yesterday.

Tangau said Malaysia was wellprimed to excel in the bio-based sector by focusing on the core elements such as high-impact, high-growth and high-technology sectors that were capable of driving the development of home-grown technologies to generate new economic opportunities and create a broad spectrum of novel industry sectors in the country.

“We are pushing the boundaries of transformation to ensure that the changes brought upon are truly holistic and inclusive and encompassing economic, governance and social development.

“In line with the National Transformation 2050 aspiration, more aggressive approaches are needed to spur and sustain growth for Malaysia in the next 30 years,” he said.

He said in line with the people- centric concept, the Bioeconomy Community Development Programme (BCDP), designed to harness the power of rural farms and farmers in partnership with BioNexus companies, was aimed at creating an inclusive bio-based sector that would benefit the general populace.

“In addition to enhancing the role and contribution of farmers, the BCDP correspondingly elevate the socio-economic status of rural communities by opening up new avenue for wealth generation,” he said.

The BioNexus status confers financial incentives, including tax exemptions from 100 per cent of statutory income for the first ten years, from the first year that statutory income is derived to double deductions for expenditure incurred from research and development promotion.

Malaysia’s premier and largest annual bio-based event in the region, BioMalaysia 2017, is back for the 15th year and will take place from Sept 11-13.

This year’s event, themed.

‘Bioeconomy — Driving growth and prosperity of the nation’, will focus on the bioeconomy development efforts that drive the growth and prosperity of the nation.

The event, led by MOSTI and jointly organised by Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corp Sdn Bhd (Bioeconomy Corp) MyEvent International, is set to attract 10,000 top regional and global leaders from the biobased sector and will include open-style talks, career fairs, exhibitions, business partnering programmes, workshops and industry meetings.

Meanwhile, at a media briefing on the sidelines of the event, Bioeconomy Corp chairman, Prof Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid, said awareness on biotechnology products has to come before the demand set in.

“Many countries are jumping on the bandwagon to rejuvenate the biotechnology sector and Malaysia took a proactive role in 2012 by being the second country in Asia to have a dedicated bioeconomy roadmap.

“The awareness rose through the new global consciousness to acknowledge sustainability and with the possibility that the natural resources may deplete,” he said.

New Bioeconomy Corp chief executive officer, Dr Shuhaizam Zain, saidlocalBioNexuscompanies were expected to contribute up 1.5 per cent of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) worth around RM2.1 billion by 2025, from presently 0.97 per cent GDP contribution.

He said out of a current network of a total of 286 BioNexus companies, only 37 had penetrated global market, especially with the biodegradable products, to South- East Asia, West Asia and Europe market.

“The network of active BioNexus companies are expected to doubleup by 2025.

The market demand will cause the biotechnology industry to compete with among each other to come out with the reasearch and the products,” he said.


MAHB (Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd) Airports records 7.8% passenger growth in Aug 2017

Posted on : 11-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd ’s (MAHB), including its Istanbul operations, recorded a 7.8% increase in August 2017 with 11.4million passenger movements, boosted by higher number of international passengers.

It said on Monday international passengers rose 15.8% with 5.5 million passengers in August while domestic passengers grew by 1.3% to 5.9 million passengers.

On a last 12 month basis, the total MAHB network of airports registered 9.0% growth with 125.7 million passengers, the highest traffic handled over a 12 month period by the network.

On the local front, airports in Malaysia registered 8.3 million passengers in August 2017, a 9.3% year-on-year growth over August 2016.

Malaysia passenger traffic grew by 9.3% in August 2017. International traffic grew by 17.3% while domestic improved by 1.7%. The domestic sector recorded 3.9 million passengers, a growth of 1.7%.

“International traffic for Asean destinations grew 15.2% to 2.0 million passengers whereas non-Asean traffic posted a 19.1% growth to 2.4 million passengers in August 2017,” it said.

MAHB said the KLIA Main Terminal and klia2 recorded growth of 4.4% and 21.4% respectively over August 2016 passenger numbers.

As for its Istanbul SGIA operations, it recorded a 3.7% growth in August 2017. International and domestic traffic grew by 10.2% and 0.4% respectively.

MAHB said overall aircraft movements increased by 4.6%. International aircraft movements grew by 14.9% while domestic aircraft movements fell 1.3% over August 2016.

“Overall average load factor was 77.0% in August 2017, an improvement of 2.4 percentage points over August 2016,” it said.

MAHB said passenger movements at the KLIA rose by 12.5% over August 2016 with 5.1 million passenger movements.

Of the 5.1 million, it said 1.7million passengers were recorded for the Asean destinations (17.8% growth) while two million passengers were recorded for the non-Asean destinations (15.3% growth).

As for the domestics sector, there were 1.4 million passengers, up 2.9%.

August traffic for KLIA Main Terminal grew by 4.4% while traffic for klia2 increased by 21.4%.

“Overall aircraft movements at KLIA increased by 10.9% over the same month last year,” it said.

MAHB pointed out the 9.3% growth for August was mainly driven by the international traffic growth that was contributed among others by the Hajj travel season, the SEA Games Kuala Lumpur 2017, visa relaxation for India and China, competitive fares as well as favourable exchange rate for foreign tourists.