Friday, 29 January 2010

Malaysian Firms Biggest Foreign Investors In Plantation Sector Of East Kalimantan

January 29, 2010

Malaysian Firms Biggest Foreign Investors In Plantation Sector Of East Kalimantan

From Nashir Mansor

PONTIANAK, Jan 29 (Bernama) -- Malaysian companies are the biggest foreign investors in the plantation sector of resource-rich East Kalimantan, a Malaysia-Indonesia border province, says a senior Malaysian official.

Zairi Basri, the Malaysian Consul based in East Kalimantan, said the companies had invested a whopping RM8.2 billion either through direct investments or via local companies.

"The local authorities are extending good cooperation and support to Malaysian investors to facilitate investments and promptly solve problems arising," he told a group of journalists and businessmen from Sabah headed by former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Harris Salleh.

The 10-day tour of East Kalimantan, sponsored by Berjaya Foundation and coordinated by the Indonesian Consul in Kota Kinabalu, Abas Basori, is to explore investment and business prospects in the province and to forge closer ties with Malaysia and Indonesia.

Zairi said Sime Darby Bhd was among Malaysian companies that have invested substantially in the plantation sector of East Kalimantan while several state governments had expressed interest to invest in the Malaysia-Indonesia border province.

He also said Malaysian companies and state governments were keen to invest in the province's transportation sector and preliminary studies were underway.

As part of Malaysia's commitment to enhance bilateral cooperation with East Kalimantan, Zairi said Sarawak was providing power supply to Badau area in the province.

"A feasibility study is being conducted to directly link power cables from Sarawak to East Kalimantan," he said, adding that the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) was not solely to contribute to Malaysia's development but also pave the way to regional growth.

He said East Kalimantan was a good place for investment given the provincial government's investor-friendly and pro-business policies.

"The local government agencies are supportive and are forthcoming in their approach to welcome and favourably consider investors' plans," he added.