Malaysian firms explore supply, investment deals in Davao, other parts of Mindanao

Subscribe Now November 22, 2019 at 09:15am

Some 33 Malaysian companies and businesses are currently in discussions with their Mindanao counterparts for various business deals that would include supply contracts, partnerships and actual investments.

This would be the first time for Malaysian business groups to conduct business-matching and pitching activities with their Filipino counterparts, who came from here and across other cities in Mindanao, including a few businessmen from the National Capital Region, said Abu Bakar Yusof, head of delegation and senior director for Export Promotion and Market Access Division of Malaysia External Trade Development Corp. (Matrade).

The Malaysian companies were talking with Filipino businesses on the areas of food and beverage, personal and skin care, information and communications technology (ICT), building and construction materials, and logistics.

The business-matching and pitching activities were held on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Marco Polo Hotel here, the venue of Matrade’s largest trade mission to Davao City. In Wednesday’s business meetings, some 100 Filipino businesses participated, said Siti Azlina, Matrade’s trade commissioner.

She said Filipino businesses also came from Cagayan de Oro and other cities in Mindanao, and a few groups and individuals from Manila.

“The business meetings were cordial and appear headed for easy closing of deals,” Yusof added.

Malaysian companies are seeking investment opportunities overseas, especially in the Asian countries, which has been acknowledged as the world’s best investment destination.

Yusof said the Malaysian businesses have shifted into high technology and ICT-based manufacturing operation, from labor-intensive operations in the 1970’s and 1980’s linked to its agriculture and other export products from rubber, oil palm to timber.

“Our companies are into manufacturing, renewable energy, electrical and electronics, and petrochemicals,” he said. “We are also strong in services, in franchising, retail aerospace, and highly skilled maintenance and repair.”

Some companies which joined the trade mission were in the category of small and medium enterprises, Yusof added. However, he said, the Malaysian SMEs account 17 percent of all exports and contribute 40 percent to the gross domestic product.

There are 1 million SMEs in Malaysia.

“Now, we are seeking to complement the needs of the companies and corporations here with our technology, as well as to introduce our products and companies to the Filipino market,” Azlina added.

“We have the ICT technology to make your BPOs [business-process outsourcing] more efficient and to cut costs,” she said.

Malaysian businesses in Davao and elsewhere in Mindanao are into coconut and oil palm plantation operations.

A mission briefer said Malaysia “is strengthening its position to be among the top Philippines’s foreign investor and trading partner within Association of Southeast Asian Nations.”

Malaysia’s exports to the Philippines from January to June this year grew by 8 percent to $2.17 billion dollars compared with the same period last year. Malaysia’s top exports are electrical and electronic products, palm oil and palm oil-based products, and petroleum distillates.


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