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Sunday, 20 January 2008

Omanis invited to form JVs in halal business in Malaysia

MUSCAT — Omani investors have numerous opportunities to form joint ventures (JVs) in the halal business in Malaysia — the emerging halal hub, Malaysian officials said here yesterday. The government of Malaysia has put in place several measures to make the country a halal hub and Omanis can explore the numerous avenues available to form joint ventures for the production and distribution of halal products and services, an official of the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) told the Times of Oman during the individual business meetings organised after the seminar on business opportunities at the Grand Hyatt yesterday. Nearly 40 companies from Malaysia held one-to-one business meetings with their Omani counterparts. Malaysia has been ranked as the 16th most attractive destination for investment and its government continues to improve the investment environment. In order to make Malaysia as the halal hub, Malaysia has established a Halal Standard (MS1500:2004), an ISO-compliant standard which provides practical guidelines for the food industry. The Halal Industry Development Corporation has also been established to coordinate the overall development of the industry, said Roswaidin Mohd Zain, an official of MIDA, the principal government agency for the promotion of investments in manufacturing and services as well as coordination between industrial development in Malaysia. Services by MIDA include promoting foreign and domestic investments in the manufacturing and services sector in Malaysia; recommending policies and strategies on industrial and services promotion and development. MIDA also evaluates applications for incentives, manufacturing licences, expatriate posts, duty exemption for raw materials/components and machinery; and facilitates for the new and existing companies in the implementation and operation of the projects. “We would like Omani investors and companies to invest in joint ventures in Malaysia for manufacturing of halal products and market them in Oman,” suggested Roswaidin in his comments to Times of Oman. Invest in Melaka Business and investment opportunities are also available in Melaka, one of the state of Malaysia, through the ‘Invest Melaka’ programme. Invest Melaka is an established entity of the Malacca state government and envisions itself as the driver of the three-pronged synergies of technology, industry and business to attain sustainable economic growth and development for the people of Melaka and Malaysia. Melaka is one of the states in Malaysia that is fast becoming a manufacturing and industrial sector leader because of its excellent location, class infrastructure, availability of skilled labour, recreational facilities and an efficient government. According to Zainal bin Abu, general manager of Melaka State Development Corporation and Kamarul Jaman, of the Melaka State Financial Office, visiting Melaka is like visiting any part of Malaysia. Besides the industrial sector, Melaka also has a major thrust on health tourism as the cost of treatments is comparatively cheaper than that of their neighbouring countries, informed Zainal while speaking about the investment opportunities there. Some of the international companies which have manufacturing base in Malaysia include Konica Minolta Glass Tech; Infineon Technologies, Germany; Orna Steel, China and Cubix Electronics, Taiwan with a total investment of $800 million. There are further opportunities of more than $450 million to form joint ventures especially in manufacturing of stamping dies for car chassis, disclosed Zainal. Comparatively cheaper cost of land, sufficient water and power supply and a low cost of living all make Melaka and attractive destination for investments, Zainal commented. --(TOA, 20 Jan 08)

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