Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tanjung Manis Sets To Be Malaysia's Largest Halal Hub

In the early 1990's, the mere mention of Tanjung Manis would make people link the town with Sarawak's lumber industry. However, last Feb 18 marked the transition of Tanjung Manis into an industrial hub.

Among the industries set to flourish here are deep-sea fishing, palm oil, gas and petroleum as well as shipping.

At the launch of the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub last Feb 18 Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, witnessed the signing of agreement between 11 companies, including six from Taiwan, and Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) worth close to RM4.0 billion.

With the launch, the halal hub is expected to diversify the existing economic activities at Tanjung Manis.

AQUACULTURE

Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said the companies would venture into projects like aquaculture, biotechnology, farming, halal food processing apart from research and development.

"The state government welcomes foreign investors Sea Party Group to implement large-scale aquaculture, fish and prawn breeding projects as well as poultry and seaweed farming using modern and environmental-friendly technology", the minister said in his speech at the function to launch Tanjung Manis Halal Hub here recently.

The six Taiwan companies are Sea Party Microbes Sdn Bhd with RM1.04 billion investment, Sea Party Aquaculture Sdn Bhd (RM113 million), Sea Party Technology Sdn Bhd (RM480 million), Sea Party Industry Sdn Bhd (RM90 million), Sea Party Biotech Industry Sdn Bhd (RM150 million) and Sea Party Technology R & D Centre Sdn Bhd (RM20 million). The total amount is RM1.8 billion.

PROJECT PROPOSALS

The five Malaysian companies investing there are Najee Brothers Sdn Bhd (RM2.0 billion), Golden Priority Sdn Bhd (RM45 million), Intigrati Sdn Bhd (RM100 million), Pertanza Sdn Bhd (RM10 million) and Musyati Sdn Bhd (Sarawak) (RM30 million) and the total investments is worth RM2.1 billion.

Awang Tengah said the STIDC has been entrusted to develop Tanjung Manis and it has been allocated RM135 million to provide the basic infrastructure for the halal hub.

Since the announcement on the Tanjung Manis project during the World Halal Forum in Kuala Lumpur May last year, STIDC has received many project proposals on halal-based industries that would cover 16,000 hectares of area and providing job opportunities for 3,000 people.

Apart from Tanjung Manis, the country has three more halal hubs in the 'pipeline'. They are Malaysia International Halal Park (MIHP) in Selangor (2,756 hectares), Zamcorp Niaga (Kumpulan Halal Hub) also in Selangor (2,000 hectares) and Halal Park Hadhari Cattle in Kedah (1,000 hectares).

Malaysia's existing halal hubs are at Pulau Indah (Selangor) launched in 2003 and Tanjung Pelepas Fee Trade Zone (Johor) unveiled in 2006. The country also has halal parks at Gambang in Pahang (100 hectares), Pedas in Negeri Sembilan (55 hectares), Serkam in Melaka (127 hectares) and Perda in Pahang (10 hectares).

INFRASTRUCTURE

In line with the move to develop Tanjung Manis as Malaysia's biggest halal hub, the Sarawak Government has tasked the STIDC to provide more facilities and basic infrastructures for this township.

Among the infrastructures is the 20km-long Jalan Serdeng at the cost of RM121 million that would link Sibu and Tanjung Manis.

STIDC also plans to spend almost RM5.0 billion to upgrade the port, airport and roads as well as banking facilities at Tanjung Manis.

The move to make Tanjung Manis a halal hub is timely as non-Muslim countries like Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, China and Thailand dominate almost 80 percent of the globe's halal food products.

Currently Malaysia produces US$10.0 billion worth of halal products but some 85 percent is from non-Bumiputera companies.

With the world Muslim population reaching 1.61 billion, West and South Asia with 584 million Muslim population is the globe's major market for halal products at US$175 million a year while for Africa (461 million population), the market is worth US$115 million annually.

Malaysia, as a Muslim country has the ability and advantage to be among the world's major producer of halal goods and services

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