A third of bio-based firms fail to secure businesses in the global market
matrade CEo dr mohd Shahreen Zainooreen (left) and mohd Shuhaizam

‘They are being misled by the prospective partners and some foul plays are involved’

By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM

About 30% of local bio-based companies failed to sustain their businesses in the global market due to failure in securing and forming strategic partnerships.

Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corp Sdn Bhd (Bioeconomy Corp) CEO Dr Mohd Shuhaizam Mohd Zain said out of the 30%, 70% of these companies had to cease their business operations after being unable to effectively collaborate with international partners.

“According to reports that we gathered, these companies, which most of them are producing bio-based cosmetics products, fail to sustain their businesses after they invest outside.

“The situation is, they are being misled by the prospective partners and some foul plays are involved,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of [email protected] 2018 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

A factor behind the failure to form an ideal partnership, according to Mohd Shuhaizam is the lack of certified agencies to determine the prospective partners’ legitimacy.

“What we will do now in terms of business matching is to eliminate the criteria showed in the failed partner- ships and emulate the success stories of others in the Bioeconomy Corp’s business matching session in order to get reliable partners,” he said.

In the meantime, Mohd Shuhaizam said there is a huge need for the extraction technology in the food and beverages and in the bio-based industry due to rising demand in the wellness food supplements and medicine alternatives.

“The food industry is one of the major industries that highly utilise technology, especially in terms of processing and packaging raw materials.

“Now, the local companies are into extraction due to the abundance of raw materials such as the traditional and herbal sources that can be turned into alternative medicines.

“Thus, is it important to find the technology that can increase the yield with a lower cost of production. I know for a fact that some of the companies are still producing traditionally, through cold-pressing and boiling,” he said.

Mohd Shuhaizam added that currently, they are 283 companies that have received the BioNexus status under Bioeconomy Corp in which 37 of them have penetrated the global market, with a majority that are involved in the waste-to-wealth initiative.

The local bio-based industry has registered an approved investment worth of RM6.81 billion last year, a 2.2% increase from RM6.6 billion recorded in 2016.

As of December 2017, the agency has executed 77 trigger projects under Bioeconomy Transformation Programme, which has added to the cumulative approved investment of RM17 billion since 2005.

Meanwhile, Bioeconomy Corp is collaborating with Malaysia External Development Corp (Matrade) to provide a business matching platform for local halal bio-based producing companies on a global level.

In addition to the 37 companies that have gained international market access, Mohd Shuhaizam said the agency is bringing 20 halal bio-based companies to be pitched into 38 international companies for a wider market access.

“For this particular session, Matrade has brought prospective buyers from the region of Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania that are interested in our halal bio-based products, ranging from cosmetics, personal care, agro-based food as well as nutrition and wellness,” he said.