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18. November 2006

MALAYSIA: Sabah's Rubber Trade Mission To Belgium And Turkey A Success

Source: Bernama News Agency, Kuala Lumpur; 18 Nov 2006

KOTA KINABALU, Nov 17 (Bernama) -- State Minister of
Agriculture and Food Industry Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail
said the state's recent rubber marketing mission to
Belgium and Turkey had been successful, gaining
positive recommendations and reactions from the two
countries.

He said the Sabah's specialty rubber was acknowledged
as fulfilling the specifics and requirements of
consumers in the two European countries.

For example, Robert Bosch Corporation, the producer of
car window wiper for Mercedes Benz and BMW vehicles
had expressed satisfaction with the quality of
Superpoly PVR rubber produced by Specialty Beaufort
Rubber Factory, he said.

Abdul Rahim said Robert Bosch Corporation was the sole
largest buyer of Superpoly PVR with its demand coming
to 400 to 500 metric tonnes worth RM4.1 million
annually.

"The demand for Superpoly PVR from the company is also
expected to go up with the introduction of its new
window wiper in the market known as Aerotwin, as well
as the building of its new window wiper production
factory in China due for operations in 2007," he said
when briefing reporters here today on the success of
the trip to Europe.

The visit was organised by the Sabah Rubber Industry
Board (LIGS) with the cooperation of Green HPSP (M)
Sdn Bhd, Kuala Lumpur. The latter is the management
agent for Specialty Beaufort Rubber Factory.

At the same time, there remains the need to explore
and identify new markets for the Standard Malaysian
Rubber taking into view that Malaysian rubber
producers export about 34 percent of the rubber to the
Chinese market, he said.

In Istanbul meanwhile, Abdul Rahim said Rektor Company
had indicated its intention to relocate its retread
tyre factory to several places and Malaysia had
figured in its interest.

However, Rektor Company will be carrying out a study
on the tax exemptions and incentives which they could
gain under the Foreign Direct Investment Policy, he
said.

Abdul Rahim said that the ability of Sabah's rubber to
penetrate the international market was something to be
proud of as 95 percent of the buyers were regular
buyers.

He said Sabah's rubber industry contributed about
RM277 million to the state economy last year, an
increase of RM62 million compared with 2004's
contribution of RM215 million.

"LIGS exported 52,992 tonnes metric of the SMR and
specialty rubber worth RM277.489 million in 2005.

"This directly reflects the rubber industry's role as
a main contributor to the state's economy and to the
17,981 rubber smallholders in the state," he said.

Sabah owns a total of 64,749 hectares in rubber
plantations with 53,800 hectares covered by matured
rubber trees.



(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)

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