Asean-Japan to further deepen collaboration

Posted on : 10-04-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: The Association of South-East Asian Nations’ (Asean) Economic Ministers Roadshow, which was held in Japan on April 6-9, 2017, has recognised huge untapped potentials for Japan and the grouping to  further deepen collaboration in promoting innovations, fostering entrepreneurship and creating new industries.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said the ministers agreed on the role of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as a key driver of economic growth.

“They have also recognised the importance of increasing access to finance through possible cooperation in accordance with the domestic laws and regulations on MSMEs,” it said.

MITI said the ministers agreed that in the headwinds against globalisation, it was imperative for a modern, comprehensive, high quality, and mutually-beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to be a model for inclusive and innovation-oriented growth.

“RCEP will be an agreement that would not only facilitate the participation of MSMEs and local enterprises into the regional value chains but also promote innovation and encourage entrepreneurship.

“In this regard, while being mindful of RPCs’ sensitivities, the ministers reiterated the importance of RCEP to deliver high quality and commercially meaningful outcomes, not only on trade in goods, trade in services and investment, but also in trade facilitating rules,” it said.

It said the Economic and Technical Cooperation has been recognised as an important pillar of RCEP.

In this context, it said, the ministers agreed to consider a Japan-Asean Initiative to realise RCEP by jointly developing human resources, enhancing institutional capacities, building infrastructure for strengthening connectivity in the region and deepening industrial cooperation, while addressing the divergence of economic development in this region.

“The ministers are committed to work towards elaborating on the details of the Japan-Asean Initiative to realise RCEP.

They also agreed to the importance of accelerating structural reform and reducing NTB for promoting innovation and fostering new industries,” it said.


MTDC (Malaysian Technology Development Corporation-Khazanah Nasional Bhd subsidiary) plans to approve RM170 mln in loans this year

Posted on : 10-04-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

BANGI — Khazanah Nasional Bhd subsidiary, Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), is targeting to approve RM170 million in loans to technology-based companies this year.

MTDC Chief Executive Officer Datuk Norhalim Yunus said the financing would be given out through its six funds.

These are Commercialisation of Research and Development Fund (RM40 million), Technology Acquisition Fund (RM10 million), Business Start-up Fund (RM15 million), Business Growth Fund (RM15 million), Bumiputera Expansion Fund (RM75 million) and Halal Technology Development Fund (RM15 million).

“The funds would be allocated according to the size of the projects, starting from a minimum of RM500,000 to a maximum of RM15 million,” he told the media after speaking at the MTDC Road 2 Funding programme here today.

He said the loans would be disbursed through a combination of grants and convertible promissory notes.

Norhalim said MTDC planned to disburse the RM170 million funds within two years, according to the type of projects carried out by the companies.

“The funds would be disbursed in stages based on the progress of the projects, and would not be given out if they did not achieve the target that had been set,” he said.

He added that most of the applicants for the loans were companies involved in the green technology industry, such as solar technology, energy efficiency systems, biotechnology and electronics and electrical, among others.

Norhalim said the recently introduced Halal Technology Development Fund would also see more active involvement by halal product manufacturers that export their products.

“The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia’s halal certification is recognised by 50 halal agencies all over the world, and this fund would encourage more companies to expand their business overseas,” he said.

He added that last year, MTDC had disbursed RM145 million in loans to 71 technology-based companies.


Shell awards contract to Petra Resources

Posted on : 10-04-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Ltd has hired integrated brown field services provider Petra Energy Bhd to undertake the topside maintenance services for the Gumusut-Kakap and Malikai deepwater platforms.

It said on Monday it had signed a two-year contract with an option to extend for an additional year, with Petra Resources Sdn Bhd – a unit of Petra Energy – in Kota Kinabalu.

Petra Resources will provide contract management, site execution and offshore maintenance crew to undertake maintenance activities for the platforms.

Sabah Shell general manager Ian Lim said  the oil major  has a long history of successfully developing deepwater energy projects worldwide.

“We believe in sharing expertise with local energy companies as well as the government to help it to develop deepwater resources and the corresponding service industry, and also to benefit local economy and livelihoods of the communities where we have operations,” Lim said.

Petra Energy group CEO Datuk Anthony @ Firdauz Bujang said that topside maintenance and hook up commissioning is the group’s core competency.

“The signing today at the Sabah Oil and Gas (SOGCE) 2017 signifies the good working relationship we have with Shell in Sabah. We are proud to be recognized by a global energy company to undertake works for Malaysia’s deep-water assets,” he added.

Petra Resources will ensure local participation via its partnership with Sabah based company, Evolusi Bersatu Sdn Bhd.

Recall that Gumusut-Kakap was built entirely in Malaysia, allowing Shell to share its deep-water expertise to boost local companies and help the government create an offshore industry hub in the country.

It is Shell’s first deep-water project in Malaysia, which uses advanced Shell technology to safely produce oil from the Gumusut-Kakap field in seas 1,200 metres (3,900 feet) deep.

As for Malikai, it is Shell’s second deep-water project in Malaysia. It is the country’s first tension leg platform, a floating oil production facility moored to the seabed 500 metres underwater.

Singapore to carry out trials of self-driving pods, buses

Posted on : 10-04-2017 | By : sabah today | In : International News

SINGAPORE— Trials for self-driving pods in Sentosa and autonomous buses possibly around Jurong Island and the National University of Singapore (NUS) will kick off in the next three months, and if things go well, the rides may be rolled out to the public from as early as 2018 and 2020 respectively.

In Sentosa, testing for four mobility-on-demand pods will start this month along three routes: Tanjong Beach, Palawan East to Siloso Point, Sentosa Golf Club to Imbiah Lookout. Artificial intelligence will allow the 15-seater Navya Arma and 20-seater ST Kinetics Shuttle to replicate the behaviour of a human driver.

From 2018, the public will be able to book a ride on these by booking through their smartphones or information kiosks around the island as part of the trial.

Over at a still-undecided location, work on a trial involving two 40-seater electric buses will start between this month and June as part of a 42-month trial. The Land Transport Authority said possible sites include Jurong Island and NUS. If all goes well, the goal is for the buses to run on fixed and scheduled public routes on selected feeder and trunk bus services in 2020.

Both projects were unveiled by ST Kinetics at a ceremony on Monday (April 10). Several initiatives were announced, including the launch of the Singapore Autonomous Vehicles (AV) Consortium and AV development projects with the Ministry of Transport (MOT), Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC).

For the Sentosa trial, the engineering company will work with SDC and MOT, and make use of a fleet management system to analyse passenger demand and optimise route management.

For the driverless bus trial, ST Kinetics is collaborating with the LTA. Initial stages of the trial will be conducted during off-peak hours at an industrial area, before progressing to more complicated test sites. In the future, the trial could be extended to public roads for intra-town travel, said the LTA.

A satellite-based Global Positioning System and sensors will enable the buses – traveling up to 60km/hr – to identify their location and surroundings. Radars and sonars will be able to pick up other vehicles and pedestrians as far as 200 metres away.

Permanent Secretary for Transport Pang Kin Keong said: “The autonomous mobility-on-demand trial in Sentosa and the autonomous bus trial with ST Kinetics are further major steps in our plan to leverage the technology to improve urban mobility in Singapore. We will progressively launch more trials, including in other parts of Singapore, with the aim of eventually deploying such mobility concepts as part and parcel of our transport system.”


Professional Conference Management Program in KK

Posted on : 10-04-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s first Professional Conference Management Programme will be held in Kota Kinabalu from the 26th to the 28th of this month at Hotel Grandis.

“As Sabah is embarking on serious conference business with the completion of the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) soon, Sabah Tourism is pleased to be part of the upcoming Professional Conference Management programme with MACEOS. We hope the private and public sectors will take full advantage of this program to equip themselves for the next phase of tourism in Sabah,” said Gordon Yap, general manager of Sabah Tourism Board.

The three-day training programme, a joint collaboration between Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers (MACEOS) and Singapore Association of Conventions and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS), will equip participants with practical applications of concepts in organising conferences as well as the necessary skills to deliver professional world-class conferences. Areas ranging from conference planning, development, marketing, bidding techniques and more will be presented and discussed over the course of the PCM programme.

The PCM programme is also recognized by the Conventions Industry Council (CIC) of USA and carries 23 CEU units to prepare participants who wish to upgrade to be a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), a worldwide recognized accreditation. The PCM Certificate Ceremony will be officiated by Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.

The programme is exclusively limited to 25 participants to allow better group synergy, discussion and interaction. Hotels with MICE facilities, tour operators, venue operators and suppliers, DMCs, event organizers and planners, academicians and lecturers in events management, entrepreneurs and business managers are encouraged to join.

Registration is open to all at RM2500 for non MACEOS members and RM2000 for MACEOS members. Interested participants can register in the official website For more information, email or call 012-640 6106.


SME products for 50 Sabah shops this year

Posted on : 10-04-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU– The state government plans to bring small and medium enterprise (SME) products to 50 shops statewide with a target sale of more than RM50 million this year.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah said the state government was also targeting to rope in 100 SMEs to enter 200 products into supermarkets, sundry shops and convenience stores statewide.

Tan who is also state Industrial Development Minister said the ministry brought 42 SME products to a local supermarket chain in the west coast, last year.

He was responding to Datuk Au Kam Wah (BN-Elopura) during the question and answer session at the Sabah State Legislative Assembly here, today.

Au wanted to know about the state government’s plans and efforts to stimulate light industry in the state and incentives given to local SMEs.

Tan said the National Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council had accepted the state government’s proposal to develop the Supply Chain Shared Services and Outsourcing Centre (SSO) concept to vitalise the SME industry in the state.

According to him, the concept was a public and private sector initiative to provide a platform for end to end supply chain management solutions in terms of production facility, storage services for dry and frozen goods and logistics services.

“Such programme will assist SME entrepreneurs in logistics, packaging, storage and delivery to shops, where the SSO would help in managing sale, promotion and payment process for SME entrepreneurs.

“The concept is seen as capable of increasing sale and income of operators consistently and help them to be self reliant rather than depend on government assistance and incentive,” he said.