Sabah-China Chamber keen on POIC and China potentials

LAHAD DATU: Interests on the business potentials at the POIC Lahad Datu here have intensified with the recent spate of positive reports in particular with regards to China.


The Sabah-China Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) is the latest group of business people making a beeline to Lahad Datu with specific focus on the state-owned POIC Lahad Datu industrial park.

Its president Datuk Frankie Liew is leading a delegation of 20 people on a two-day visit to Lahad Datu beginning June 23.

Among the group’s itinerary a visit to POIC Lahad Datu and a courtesy call on and dialogue with the Lahad Datu Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

They attended a briefing on POIC Lahad Datu’s by the Head of Marketing and Sales Division, Rose Pun, and visiting the several factories in Lahad Datu including an investor of POIC.

“In view of the visibly increasing interest of China on Sabah in general, and POIC in particular, our members feel that a visit here is relevant to enable us to see for ourselves opportunities for local investors, and to help us able to articulate accurately Sabah’s business potentials when we meet with our business friends in China,” said Frankie.

SCCC members are involved in a wide spectrum of businesses state wide and they are interested to explore opportunities in collaborating with in coming foreign investors.
“We are keen to see how our businesses can complement POIC.

We are interested in cold storage import and export of marine products, transport and warehousing, for examples,” he added.

In addition to frequent contact with China entrepreneurs, Frankie said SCCC also has frequent exchanges with businesses in the Philippines and Indonesia which, along with Malaysia, are all members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership which brings together Asean nations with China, South Korea and Japan, among others.

He revealed that a SCCC delegation is scheduled to visit Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province this August to familiarise with the plan of develop Indonesia’s new capital city, Nusantara.

“This (Indonesia’s new capital) will bring huge development potential of POIC Lahad Datu, and the POIC Port will play a very important role in freight and logistics in the region.”

POIC Lahad Datu has been in the news spotlight lately. Last April, POIC Sabah, the developer of the 4,400-acre POIC Lahad Datu, signed a collaborative agreement with the China Construction Bank. This link-up with one of China’s biggest banks is seen as a potential breakthrough on China investment inflow into Sabah. Before this almost all of China’s major investments into Malaysia were confined to Peninsular Malaysia.

CCB officials led by its Senior Vice President of Strategic Development, Ms Wang Jiayang visit POIC Lahad Datu last week. The visit coincided with that of a group of top officials from Dongnam A. Circulater Co. Ltd a shipping and logistics group based in Busan, South Korea.

In early June, China Foreign Minister Wang Yi generated a buzz when he, at a stopover in Kota Kinabalu said that China has tremendous interest in the downstream potential in Sabah’s oil palm industry.

POIC Sabah is promoting investment in eastern Sabah, its oil palm belt, and urging foreign investors, including from China, to look at this area as an integral part of the resource-rich east Asean territories known as BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area) POIC Sabah Chairman Datuk Sri Panglima Yong Teck Lee welcomed the SCCC visitation and commended them for their initiative in going in-depth into understanding the business possibilities in Sabah.

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