By BORNEOTODAY REPORTER
MAKATI, Philippines: Darell Leiking’s trade and investment mission to Makati, Philippines from 6 to 9 March successfully promoted more market and investment opportunities in Sabah.
During his 3-day visit to Makati, he had several meetings with some of the industry players and business associations in Philippines such as the influential Makati Business Club and Zoomanity.
“During the meetings, Darell highlighted the vast investment opportunities provided by several industrial clusters in Sabah particularly POIC Lahad Datu and SOGIP,” said Christopher Masudal, who is Leiking’s Special Officer.
“Darell believes that POIC Lahad Datu’s perfect geographical location could provide the answer in spurring the economic downstreaming in Sabah particularly in agricultural and fishery sectors.
This is so since the cluster’s port is located right in the middle of the Lombok-Makassar Strait that actually serves as the alternate route for the Malacca Strait on trades between China and Australia, reaching out as far as Papua New Guinea.
And as years passed by with more and more Chinese investments coming into Papua New Guinea, the Lombok-Makassar Strait will play a very significant role and set to become the second busiest strait in Asia.
Hence, POIC Lahad Datu and Sandakan could benefit tremendously from this route because Philippines companies can set up their processing factories at either 2 districts while the raw resources can be outsourced from nearby areas such as the Southern Philippines, Kalimantan and Sabah itself.
This is true since while Southern Philippines is rich with natural resources such as coconut, political instability at that region would deter companies from setting up their factories there hence Sandakan and POIC Lahad Datu are the perfect alternatives,” he added.
Masudal also highlighted it that following Leiking’s meetings today, especially with the Philippines Secretary for Trade and Industry, Ramon Lopez, more discussions will be held between the two countries on increasing trades and investments.
“The meeting with Ramon Lopez is also a success especially on the barter trading between Sabah and the Philippines.
Darell envisaged close economic relationship between Sabah and the Philippines and discussion will be held in the very near future with relevant stakeholders to hold an expo firstly to be held at Manila and thereafter, at Kuala Lumpur
This expo actually meant to allow Sabah’s manufacturers to find more markets outside the State for their products and to network with potential partner from the Philippines such as distributors or suppliers,” he added.
“With 110 million populations, Darell believes that Philippines is a perfect market for Sabahan manufacturers and to allow more Sabahans manufacturers and entrepreneurs to enjoy this market, we at MITI thru Matrade will strive to facilitate them on this matter,” he concluded.