LAHAD DATU (June 18): Sabah will benefit from its collaboration with China and South Korea’s companies in the development of the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) Lahad Datu, POIC Sabah chief executive officer Datuk Fredian Gan said.
He said POIC Lahad Datu signed collaborative agreements with South Korean shipping and logistics operator Dongnam A Circulater Co. Ltd and China Construction Bank (CCB) on July 30, 2021 and April 8, 2022, respectively.
“The fact that they are here over the last three days visiting our facilities at the first opportunity (post Covid) is a clear indication of their seriousness to move forward. Their visit is to take a first-hand look and feel of Lahad Datu town and POIC,” he said in a statement here on Saturday.
POIC Sabah is developing the POIC Lahad Datu industrial park and operating an integrated port infrastructure in the East Coast of Sabah in Lahad Datu.
The CCB delegation was headed by its senior vice-president of strategic development Wang Jiayang while Dongnam’s was led by its president, Su Man Hwang.
With Dongnam setting up a base in Lahad Datu, Gan said the companies’ operations could potentially encourage the flow of cargo in and out of Lahad Datu, as well as drawing investors to set up manufacturing factories, taking advantage of POIC Lahad Datu as an amalgamation point for raw materials such as palm oil, sea weed, petroleum and minerals.
He said Busan-based Dongnam’s entry to POIC Lahad Datu is set to unlock the potentials of the vast natural resources in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP EAGA) using Lahad Datu as its base, matching it with technologies from Korea.
“Dongnam’s global shipping routes are a ready network of ports whose linkage helps POIC Port find its place in the global ports and harbours community,” he added.
On CCB, Gan said connecting with a Chinese state-owned banking giant will help POIC Sabah’s continue its efforts to win China’s investors.
“The recent statement by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi that China is keen to explore investment opportunities in Sabah’s palm oil sector shows that we are being noticed and that our efforts on China have borne results.
“There are already hundreds of China’s companies investing in Peninsular Malaysia. We hope working with CCB will entice these investors and more in China to look our way,” he said
Gan said as a state-owned company, POIC Sabah looks forward to working with all state-owned agencies and the private sector to explore business opportunities with two of the biggest industrialised economies.
“Through CCB and Dongnam, the door is wide open for Sabah to access the many and major foreign direct investments, something Sabah is searching for as far as the Sabah Maju Jaya development plan goes.
“The delegations are suitably impressed with our intentions within (the ambit of) the BIMP-EAGA region and we hope to firm up some agreements soon,” he said.
Both Dongman and CCB delegations also met with Lahad Datu District Officer Mohammad Ayub Yakub who briefed them on the local authority’s project planning and approval processes. – Bernama