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Malaysian traders invest in agri products, energy in Cotabato City

Economic News • 19:54 PM Thu Jan 28, 2016
Ferdinandh Cabrera
Malaysian traders meet with Cotabato City based traders. (Ferdinandh Cabrera)

COTABATO CITY -- An old relationship tied between religious foundations and trading will soon be rekindled as Johore, Malaysia-based investors have started to pour in investments in partnership with their Moro brothers.The new venture will be in healthy agricultural products, halal” and green energy.Some 26 Malaysian investors, believed to be descendants or lineage of Shariff Mohammed Kabunsuan who brought Islam in this part of the Mindanao region in 1600’s, have forged business linkages here in a cooperative partnership with Cotabato City and several Mindanao-based businessmen in promoting malunggay” (horseradish).
Dr. Danda Juanday, Cotabato City administrator and chair of Muslim Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said one of the priority investments the Malaysian were interested in was the food processing of malunggay tree.” The group will develop food supplement for human and animal feed additives from malunggay.” They wanted to start immediately, the prospect they said, Malunggay could earn 20,000 pesos her hectare”, Jaunday told reporters.Juanday noted that the reason why Malaysians wanted to manufacture Malunggay by-products because it can be easily raised here, because of the vast lands available and would be an alternative for soya on feed meals for livestock and poultry products.A Memorandum of Agreement was signed by Tabun Halal Multi-purpose cooperative and Iskandar Malaysia Berhad (IMCOOP) to formalize the start of partnership.
Juanday said 6the partnership will be cooperative-to-cooperative linkages.He said using modern technology, the investors will develop several products products like the malungay” while human resources and land area will be the provided by its local counterparts in Cotabato City. This is the new formula of business partnership now, we call it coop to coop or ‘C to C partnership’ which is better and faster unlike in our experiences with government to government or business to business partnership,” said Nor Hisham Hussein, the chief executive of IMCOOP Malaysia. What we need is a recognized Islamic Bank that will emboldened the partnership for financing aspects,” Juanday added.Aside from malungay,” several food processing products, the group also eyes on agricultural livestock, poultry and fishery product development.Since power shortage was among the problems in Mindanao that hinder the establishment of business expansion on processing plants and several industrial infrastructures, the Malaysian traders are also focusing its eyes green energy.Malaysian investors are interested in power production utilizing the solar source of energy and using energy from the garbage from agricultural products.Asked why in Cotabato City of all the places in Mindanao, the investors said their interest was developed after a meeting with Mayor Japal Guiani Jr and Dr. Juanday in Johore, Malaysia during tourism and investment visit. It was there that they traced the rich history of the relationship of Johore and Cotabato City. Mindanao was never in our radar in the past until we met the mayor and Dr. Juanday,” Hussein said.
Sometimes there better opportunities to invest in conflict areas, because people are thirsty to bring change and development after years of struggle,” according to Jamalludin Hassan of Jentayu Ventures, a retired Army Major in Malaysia turned businessman.IMCOOP is one of Malaysia’s suppliers of farm inputs and products in Singapore and neighboring regions in Asia. They have at least 3,000 members in their cooperative venturing in different Halal products and services.Aniceto Rasalan, secretary to Mayor Guiani said the Malaysian traders will construct a processing plant for affordable distilled drinking water.Rasalan said the Malaysian envisioned bottled water is some 30 to 35 percent lower compared to other brands in Philippine market.The Malaysian investment is expected to reach P300 million, Rasalan said.

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