KUCHING: Sabah-based marine aquaculture company, Borneo Aqua Harvest Bhd (Borneo Aqua), says it is fully committed on its aquaculture business despite its proposed plans to diversify into the mining business.
In its recently released Annual Report 2016, chairman Datuk Seri Dr Kamal Bilal said, “It is the group’s long-term growth plan to build a sustainable aquaculture business organically, as well as to diversify its revenue source by venturing into other viable and income-generating businesses, including the proposed mining business.
“With proper planning and necessary measures to be taken by the group to mitigate possible risks that may arise from mining activities, the proposed mining business is also expected to enhance and broaden the earning base of the group.”
He noted that Borneo Aqua is one of the leading player in the aquaculture industry in Malaysia as it is one of the biggest exporter of fin fish from Sabah, targeting the key markets in the southern China region, such as Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
He added, the group owns two transport vessels for the transportation of live fishes, which are certified by the Marine Department Malaysia to navigate the Sabah – Hong Kong SAR route.
“Medium and small fin fish farmers in and around the vicinity of the eastern Sabah waters will have to rely on the group’s transport vessels if they also wish to penetrate the southern China markets,” Kamal said.
“According to a report produced by the World Bank in 2013 titled ‘Fish to 2030: Prospects for Fisheries and Aquaculture’, China is expected to lead the growing demand for fish from an emerging global middle class community.
“While Asia – including South Asia, South East Asia, China and Japan – is projected to make up 70 per cent of the global fish consumption by 2030, China alone is expected to account for 38 per cent.
“To help meet this growing demand, China and many other countries, are expected to increase their investments in aquaculture,” he shared.
Overall, Kamal noted that the financial year 2016 (FY16) was a challenging year for Borneo Aqua as it endures economic challenges and uncertainties both domestically as well as globally.
At the domestic front, he noted that the drop in global crude oil prices and the government’s introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime has resulted in a weaker ringgit and higher inflationary pressure on the local economy respectively.
“Though the group’s products are mostly exported to Hong Kong and southern China, the sluggish Chinese economy has also affected the overall demand for our products at these international markets.
“Nevertheless, the group continues to be resilient in facing these challenges head-on, achieving a decent year-on-year revenue growth of approximately 6.3 per cent,” he said.