e-commerce identified as potential key priority for Singapore’s ASEAN 2018 chairmanship

Posted on : 04-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

Singapore plans to drive e-commerce and other wings of the digital economy within the region, when it assumes chairmanship of Asean next year.

This will be part of a larger push to help companies in the region expand, said Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang, who sketched out a business- driven agenda that Singapore intends to deliver. For example, e-commerce rules could be streamlined and business costs slashed.

“During our chairmanship year, Singapore intends to pursue a set of tangible and meaningful economic deliverables,” said Mr Lim, who was speaking yesterday at the Asean Conference 2017 at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.

Singapore will assume the Asean chairmanship in 2018, taking over from the Philippines, and plans to tap into global mega-trends such as the burgeoning digital economy to help the grouping’s businesses grow, said Mr Lim.

“We have identified e-commerce and other initiatives relating to the digital economy as a potential key priority for Singapore’s Asean 2018 chairmanship,” he told a gathering of 500 business leaders and officials.

Singapore will use its chairmanship to streamline regional trade rules governing e-commerce, improve digital connectivity in the region and lower operational barriers to entry.

Mr Lim also said that Singapore intends to make trade more efficient by working closely with other Asean states to set up a self-certification regime. This will allow authorised exporters to self-certify that their goods meet Asean requirements for preferential treatment.

Another initiative on Singapore’s to-do list is to implement what is known as the Asean single window. This will speed up Customs clearance via the electronic exchange of information across borders, facilitating the movement of goods and lowering costs for businesses.

Mr Lim said Asean member states have made significant progress in integrating their economies, even as he alluded to the rising tides of protectionist sentiment globally.

“The solution to sluggish global growth lies not in closing off markets, but keeping markets open for unimpeded trade and investment flows. To ensure Asean’s value proposition, Asean has to continue building stronger economic connections within Asean and with the outside world.”

Singapore Business Federation chairman Teo Siong Seng said association members see strong potential in the region.

“Six out of the top 10 markets that our members are keen to venture into are in South-east Asia, with Indonesia being the top market of choice,” he added.


POIC Sabah signs memorandum with four China firms

Posted on : 04-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : International Business

BEIJING: State-owned POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd signed memorandum of understanding with four China companies here Thursday that has once again brought into focus the economic potentials in oil palm and biomass in the state.

The four companies are Hebei-based Tangshan Chunhua Grain & Oil Croup Co Ltd and Xinji Xinyuan Biotech Co Ltd; and Top Honesty Biotechnology Co Ltd and Hong Kong-based Utility Sugar Trading Ltd.
The signing was witnessed by Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) Nasrun Haji Mansur, who welcomed the China companies’ interest in Sabah the credited it as a result of promotional efforts undeterred by current economic challenges.

Nasrun noted that all four companies have footprints around the globe and in sectors that can exploit the vast potentials in the abundance of palm oil and oil palm-based biomass.

“We (Sabah) have a lot (about 1.5 million hectares) of oil palm plantations. We export most of our crude palm oil and are still waiting for serious investors to exploit the biochemical potentials,” he told investors in a MPIC seminar in the Chinese city.”

Nasrun, who is also Member of Parliament of Lahad Datu and chairman of POIC Sabah, pointed to recent trends in China’s interests in Malaysia evidenced by massive investments in properties and industries, as well as growing tourist arrivals.

“We in Sabah can surely benefit from your company’s expertise and exposure in technologies, financial strength and marketing.”

Chunhua, based in Tangshan City in Hebei Province, is a 38-year-old company specialised in agriculture products and edible oil, especially peanut oil and processes about 300,000 metric tons per year.

It also value-adds to the various types of edible oil it refines, and has gone upstream into planting its own raw materials, including a10,000-hectare peanut plantation in Sudan.

Xinji Xinyuan Biotech is part of the Xingyuan Group, based in Xinji City. The group was incorporated in 1990 specialising in machinery such as boiler, foam & plastic machines, and is increasingly being known for its aggressive forays into producing activated carbon from waste materials.

It also has factories producing bio-coal and activated carbon from coconut shells in Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Peninsular Malaysia (Johor), and has sent feelers to Sabah to identify the feasibility of using oil palm biomass to produce the two products.

Utility Sugar Trading Ltd, based in Hong Kong, is a major global supplier of sugar and syrup set up in 1985, with an annual turnover of about US$60 million.

Top Honesty Group, based out of Macau, is a public-listed company with a market capitalisation of USD59.6 million. Its core businesses are in consumer durables and renewable energy.


SME Corp targets sales of RM12 mln at SME Week 2017

Posted on : 04-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: SME Corporation Malaysia is looking at improved sales of RM12mil from the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Week 2017 in contrast to the RM8.2mil registered year.

Chief executive officer Datuk Dr Hafsah Hashim said the improvement would be driven by the participation of online shopping players such as Lazada, 11street and Google, apart from existing hypermarket players, including Giant, Tesco, Lulu, Mydin and Aeon.

“Throughout the SME Week that will be held starting this May 5-26, there would be business matching sessions between SME players, the online and the hypermarkets where they can source for new suppliers,” she said in a media briefing on event.


Pos Malaysia, Lazada develop RM60 million e-Commerce Regional Distribution Centre

Posted on : 04-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: A RM60 million e-Commerce Regional Distribution Centre is being established in Sepang, Selangor, via a collaboration between Pos Malaysia Bhd and Lazada (M) Sdn Bhd.

The companies signed a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) on Thursday for this purpose.

Pos Malaysia Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said the centre, to be located at the former low-cost carrier terminal, will provide value-added services such as air-sea-land transportation solutions, international transshipment, postal and courier services as well as warehousing facilities, among others.

“The distribution centre can handle 182,000 tonnes of items. We are targeting 34 million items for next year followed by 64 million in 2019,” he told reporters after the MoC signing here.

The MoC was signed by Mohd Shukrie and Lazada Malaysia Chief Executive Officer, Hans-Peter Ressel.

Mohd Shukrie said renovation works are expected to start next week and the centre is slated to begin operations on Aug 31.

“The hub is expected to benefit both international and local e-commerce players and customers in 30 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Concurrently, the collaboration agreement will also see the establishment of a regional e-fulfillment hub based in Sepang,” he added.

Mohd Shukrie said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd has allocated two-thirds of the terminal space of about 430,000 sq ft for the hub and 330,000 sq ft for Lazada’’s Distribution Centre.

POS Malaysia will be footing the infrastructure cost, with Lazada supporting the five-year collaboration with its e-Commerce expertise, handling of items and training.

”The centre is a significant part of Pos Malaysia’’s journey into the region and is an affirmation of our long-standing strategy to provide end-to-end integrated logistics, as part of our growth trajectory in the e-Commerce segment,” said Mohd Shukrie.

Ressel said the collaboration would open doors for Malaysian small and medium enterprises to expand their businesses, as well as bring together, global businesses to global customers.