MTDC to approve RM19m of HTDF grants

‘We are currently evaluating 10 more companies to be awarded in this year’

By FARA AISYAH / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

Malaysian Technology Development Corp Sdn Bhd (MTDC) aims to approve RM19 million of its Halal Technology Development Fund (HTDF) grants this year to develop the capacity and capabilities of technology-based halal companies.

MTDC CEO Datuk Norhalim Yunus said the group has awarded RM21 million of the fund to nine companies, including RM4.3 million for the two newly approved Suci Harumatiques Sdn Bhd and Chocofac (M) Sdn Bhd.

“HTDF’s allocation for 2016 is RM10 million and RM15 million for last year, and we have approved around RM21 million. We have some RM19 million grants to approve for this year.

“We are currently evaluating 10 more companies to be awarded this year,” Norhalim told reporters at the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between MTDC and Unipeq Sdn Bhd in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said the fund’s impact on the two new companies will only be reflected in their financial results next year.

Norhalim added that Suci Harumatiques is a startup company and it has been selling its products locally.

It will be using the fund to jointly market its products abroad, including to Vietnam and Korea under the Malaysia External Trade Development Corp.

Suci Harumatiques is a Bumiputera-owned company that creates and manufactures halal flavours in liquid and powder form for the food and beverages industry.

Chocofac — which produces assorted halal chocolate under the Queensbury, Bitley’s, Unicoco and Hulton brands — is also using the fund to expand its production lines and marketing in other countries.

Meanwhile, Norhalim said MTDC and KAF Investment Bank Bhd are planning for two of the nine companies approved under HTDF to be listed on the Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd’s Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platfrom (LEAP) Market.

As reported by The Malaysian Reserve last year, the wholly owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Bhd and KAF Investment Bank inked an MoU to offer a strategic cooperation for its fund recipient companies to be subsequently listed on the relevant markets of Bursa.

He added that MTDC is also assessing several companies from the other five funds, including the Commercialisation of Research and Development Fund, Technology Acquisition Fund, Business Start-Up Fund, Business Growth Fund as well as Business Expansion Fund to be listed on the Bursa’s latest platform.

At the same ceremony yesterday, MTDC welcomed Unipeq as its partner to identify collaborative opportunities with their respective business associates and companies.

The MoU will see Unipeq sharing information, knowledge and experience in halal business related matters to HTDF’s recipients as well as identifying potential and qualified companies to apply for the fund.