• Mida Approves RM1.3 Bln DISF Grant Till July 2017
  • ECER SMEs Secure Export Deals Worth RM7.4 Mln At CAEXPO
  • MCB Targets Cocoa Export Value To Increase This Year
  • Najib, Trump Pledge To Nurture Economic Ties, Remove Trade Barriers
  • Ministry Eyes Direct Durian Exports To China 1-2 Years From Now
  • Fresenius Medical Care expands regional plant in Malaysia

Mida Approves RM1.3 Bln DISF Grant Till July 2017
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 included 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 in Kedah. 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.

ECER SMEs Secure Export Deals Worth RM7.4 Mln At CAEXPO
Three small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from Malaysia’s East Coast Economic Region (ECER) secured export deals worth RM7.4 million at the 14th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) 2017 in Nanning. The SMEs, Hakimah Bakery, Siti Nora Enterprise and Adeqsue Resources Sdn Bhd, exchanged memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with their trade partners in China to distribute halal food products in the country over the next two years. ECER Development Council Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John said the MoU exchange was a testament to the entrepreneurs’ success in growing their business by adapting and responding to global market needs. “In fact there are many cross-border opportunities just waiting to be seized. “We are confident of more deals and partnerships leveraging on halal and handicraft products by the end of this exhibition,” he added.

MCB Targets Cocoa Export Value To Increase This Year
The Malaysian Cocoa Board (MCB) expects cocoa export value in 2017 to surpass the RM5.8 billion recorded last year. Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister, Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur, said the cocoa industry was the fourth biggest contributor to the main commodity export value last year, after oil palm, rubber and timber, having increased by 14 per cent to RM5.74 billion from RM5.02 billion recorded in 2015. “Although the cocoa industry has been facing numerous challenges, especially in the decreasing plantation area and yield, we have been able to increase export revenue through MCB’s continuous efforts. “The main contributors to the cocoa export revenue were its downstream products, such as cocoa fat and cocoa powder, contributing RM3.4 billion or 58.9 per cent of the total export value,” he said.

Najib, Trump Pledge To Nurture Economic Ties, Remove Trade Barriers
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and US President Donald Trump have pledged to nurture the economic ties between the two nations to create jobs and opportunities, as well as remove trade barriers in key sectors. The two countries also recognised the importance of regular discussions under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement to strengthen the trade relationship by removing barriers in key sectors, said a joint statement for enhancing the comprehensive partnership between the US and Malaysia. The pledge reflects a longstanding and substantial trade relations, it said. “Both sides announced their intent to pursue trade and investment opportunities in the transportation and energy sectors and to address the bilateral trade imbalance,” said the statement issued following talks between the two leaders at the White House

Ministry Eyes Direct Durian Exports To China 1-2 Years From Now
The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry expects durians from Malaysia to be exported directly to China between one and two years from now. Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek (pic) said through the cooperation between the ministry and the government of Guanxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, a three-day festival promoting Malaysian durians would be held in China in October in Nanning. “We have obtained special approval from the authorities there to export durians for the festival, which is the first of its kind in China,” he said to reporters after officiating the “Road To Nanning Durian Festival 2017′ workshop. He said the Malaysian government would strive to obtain the protocol and agreement from China to enable Malaysia to export unprocessed durians to China. “Currently, Malaysia is only allowed to export processed or frozen durians to China, while fresh durians have to go through a third country like Hong Kong or Thailand prior to entering China,” he said.

Fresenius Medical Care expands regional plant in Malaysia
Fresenius Medical Care, the world’s leading provider of products and services for individuals with renal diseases will expand its regional manufacturing plant in Bandar Enstek, Malaysia. The plant is a state-of-the-art facility and will be Fresenius Medical Care’s regional manufacturing hub for Southeast Asia. In addition to supplying high-quality haemodialysis concentrates and disinfectants, the plant produces Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) products necessary for advanced Continuous Ambulatory PD (CAPD) treatment. “Malaysia with its positive business environment, skilled workforce, and strategic geographic location provides a natural choice for a regional manufacturing plant”, said Harry De Wit, CEO Fresenius Medical Care Asia Pacific.