BIOMALAYSIA & BIOECONOMY ASIA PACIFIC 2013

SPEECH BY

Y.A.B. DATO’ SERI MOHAMED KHALED NORDIN

MENTERI BESAR JOHOR

BIOMALAYSIA & BIOECONOMY 

ASIA PACIFIC 2013

AT THE PUTERI PACIFIC HOTEL, JOHOR BAHRU

ON MONDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2013

AT 9.30 A.M.

 

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim,

 

Y.B. Datuk Dr. Abu Bakar Bin Mohamad Diah 

Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation

 

Y.B. Ismail Bin Mohammed

Exco Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry

 

Y.Bhg  Professor Emeritus Dato' Sri Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid

Chairman, Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation 

 

Y.B.  Dato’ Haji Obet Bin Tawil 

State Secretary of Johor

Y.Bhg.  Dato' Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal

Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation 

 

Y.Bhg.  En. Wan Amir-Jeffery B Wan Abdul Majid 

Chief Executive Officer, Johor Biotechnology and Biodiversity Corporation

 

Distinguished guests

 

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

Salam 1 Malaysia and good morning. 

 

1. I wish to congratulate the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) for hosting another dynamic edition of BioMalaysia in 2013, in the vibrant city of Johor Bahru. I was informed that this is the first time BioMalaysia is being held outside the Klang Valley. On behalf of the state I would like to say that we feel very honored to host this prestigious event. I hope that that the underlying objectives behind today’s event  will achieve its desired outcome.

 

2. Since the inception of BioMalaysia in 2003, we have seen the growth of BioMalaysia  from strength to strength. This year, I note that the event has taken a leap forward to position herself as the central point for the regional bioeconomy. For this matter, we shall herald the BioMalaysia and Bioeconomy Asia Pacific 2013 exhibition and conference as the start of many exciting endeavors and collaborations not only  in new technology, but most importantly in the entire biotechnology industry which can positively influence the world we live in. 

 

3. Furthermore, the enthusiasm to include Bioeconomy Asia Pacific in this year's BioMalaysia is about the right time. From where I see it, in order for us to develop a successful bioeconomy, a continual engagement with global top players in the industry, and embrace borderless innovation will springboard the competitiveness of the industry  in attracting capital,and simultaneously  invigorating our bioeconomy. Having said that, I would like tocongratulate MOSTI and BiotechCorp for having the foresight to initiate this move towards recognizing bioeconomy as the sector of endless possibilities, a high potential game changer that will benefit the lives of many.  

 

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

4. The reality in these challenging times requires us to be more innovative and creative in handling down the issues we face in this world of finite resources. In looking for solutions, the constant developments in the field of biotechnology, offers us a viable answer to the difficult questions faced by mankind - food security, healthcare provision, safeguarding the environment and sustainable energy generation.  

 

5. MOSTI and BiotechCorp have taken vigorous steps to realise the lofty aspirations as outlined in the National Biotechnology Policy and what I can safely say is that the potentials and achievements are unfathomable. To-date, total approved investments in biotechnology has reached USD4.5 billion (RM13.8 billion) which is more than 50% above the initial Phase 2 target of USD3 billion (RM9 billion). At the same time, the biotechnology industry has also created more than 80,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities which contribute directly towards our goal to become a high-income nation. 

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

6. In Johor, the establishment of Johor Biotechnology and Biodiversity Corporation in 2006 (J-BioTech Corp) was the official start of the state's initiative in the biotechnology industry. J-BioTech Corp was primarily set-up to act as a driver and growth engine for the development of the state's biotechnology industry. As part of the industry growth initiative in Johor, J-BioTech Corp and it's subsidiary company BioDesaru, have developed an organic food production hub which complies to established global biosecurity standards within an area of approximately 9,000 acres in Desaru, Kota Tinggi. 

7. BioDesaru focuses on Agbio activities such as agriculture, aquaculture and livestock, agro-tourism, eco-sanctuary, and wellness resort activities. The Biodesaru development has attracted committed investments totaling RM2 billion. Looking at the potential of the industry, the state government is undertaking many initiatives to create a conducive ecosyetem for the development of Johor’s bioeconomy. These initiatives are centered on infrastructure support in the form of biotechnology parks and promoting a collaborative research and development with the local university i.e Malaysia Technology University for the development of bioeconomy commercialization. 

8. Additionally, J-BioTech Corp also has a strength in research and development of beneficial microbes (BM) products for environmental, agricultural, industrial and general well-being commercial applications. Some of these products are being used widely by the local councils in Johor and utility companies for treating environmental pollutants. J-BioTech Corp also provide lab services with SAMM compliance certified and ISO 17025:2005 accredited laboratories offering chemical, microbiology and molecular analysis services for industry and academia. More than that, J-BioTech Corp is also now providing investment facilities and services to biotech investors and act as a one-stop centre for biotech investment support. It will facilitate biotech investors' requirements and act as a liaison and coordination role with other agencies. 

 

9. I am confident that the state's strategic location, trainable human capital, excellent infrastructure, availability of suitable land for development, good logistics and transportation network, and the existence of Institutes of Higher Learning for technical and R&D collaboration are attractive to investors. Special emphasis will be given to develop industry-ready human capital in Johor together with the industry to continue and sustain the requirements for skilled biotech workers.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

10. The development of Iskandar Development Region or IDR, with its incentives and infrastructure that supports the development of the biotechnology industry is another pull factor. IDR is a great catalyst for growth which has seen the economic corridor in the south grows rapidly in terms of scale and importance. I believe the biotechnology industry in Malaysia, and worldwide, should seriously consider ISKANDAR MALAYSIA as their location, given its strategic location with access to international markets, good infrastructure and connectivity, and most importantly, our commitment to provide investors with a conducive environment and eco-system for their businesses to flourish.

 

11. Today, I am honoured to share with you, that as a testimony of investors’ confidence in ISKANDAR MALAYSIA, for the period beginning 2006 until 30 September 2013, the economic corridor has recorded a total cumulative committed investment of RM128.21 billion, or about USD41 billion. This is an increase of 7.8 per cent over the same figures in the Second Quarter of 2013. It is also noteworthy that 44 per cent, or RM55.81 billion of these investments have already been realised. This shows that domestic and foreign investors are contributing real economic value to the country. In the Third Quarter of 2013 alone, ISKANDAR MALAYSIA received new investments worth RM9.28 billion, compared to RM7.56 billion in the Second Quarter.

 

12. While manufacturing records the highest cumulative committed investment at RM45.68 billion, we are also seeing increasing investments in the services sectors comprising tourism, healthcare, education, logistics, creative industries and financial services, as well as emerging technologies. ISKANDAR MALAYSIA is already offering state-of-the-art biotechnology manufacturing facility such as Bio-XCell in Nusajaya, and IRDA, the authority mandated to plan, promote and facilitate  economic growth in ISKANDAR MALAYSIA is prepared to assist researchers with great ideas for commercialisation and industry enablers to find a home here.”

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

13. As Malaysia also stepped up to the plate with its Bioeconomy Transformation Programme (BTP) in 2012 and has begun work in earnest towards rolling out the initiatives identified under the BTP, It is certainly worth noting that Johor has also moved in tandem with the national aspiration and emerged with our very own biotechnology hub based on the state government’s vision to encourage both domestic and international investments in this sector.

 

14. Again, I am very confident that Johor has what it takes to be a good partner for the biotechnology industry. We will also work closely and diligently with BiotechCorp, IRDA, MIDA, MDEC, MTDC and other relevant federal and state agencies to strive and create a win-win outcome for investors and partners in Johor and the nation's bioeconomy.

 

15. With that, I urge and encourage everyone who will participate in this BioMalaysia and Bioeconomy Asia Pacific 2013 to explore, identify and pursue possible and lucrative opportunities which are not only valuable from a commercial perspective but also from a scientific and socioeconomic stand point. We will also be able to learn as much as we can from the panel of speakers who are luminaries in the field of biotechnology and life-sciences.  I wish all participants a most productive and rewarding discourse during the next three days. 

16. On that note, in the name of Allah the Most Gracious and most Merciful, it is with great pleasure that I declare the BioMalaysia and  Bioeconomy Asia Pacific 2013 officially open. 

 

Thank you. 

Wabillahitaufik walhidayah wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

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