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7-Business: Malaysian biotech centre to play key role in globalbiotechnology market

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TITLE:  Melaka To Play Key Role In Global Biotechnology Market
SOURCE: Bernama, Malaysia
DATE:   13 January 2005

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Melaka To Play Key Role In Global Biotechnology Market

MELAKA, Jan 13 (Bernama) -- The Melaka state government is confident that
it has adequate capacity and capability to play a key role in the global
biotechnology and bioinformatics markets worth billions of ringgit, Chief
Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said Thursday.

He said Melaka would emphasise on agro-biotechnology in farming and
aquaculture initially and subsequently focus on food production and
animal husbandry.

Speaking at the opening of Institut Bioteknologi Melaka at Ayer Keroh, he
said it has four incubator companies which were involved in producing
value-added agricultural produce and fruits.

"In addition, the institute will also produce plant extracts from herbal
plants for the production of pharmaceuticals, nutriceuticals and
cosmetics," he said.

The opening of the RM8.2 million institute, located near the Melaka
International Trade Centre, was officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Mohd Ali said efforts to develop the biotechnology sector in Melaka had
been through the establishment of a biotechnology division under the
Office of the Chief Minister two years ago.

From this month, the division will operate as the Melaka Biotechnology
Corporation, which will oversee the operations of Institut Bioteknologi
Melaka and Melaka Biotech Holdings.

At the opening ceremony, two agreements and three memoranda of
understanding were signed by the institute and Melaka Biotech Holding Sdn
Bhd with a number of companies and institutions of higher learning.

The first MoU was signed between Institut Bioteknologi Melaka and
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) for the exchange and research on
biotechnology in education.

Mohd Ali signed on behalf of the institute while the Chairman of the UTAR
Council, Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, represented UTAR.

The second MoU involved Melaka Biotech Holding and Felcra Bhd for the
establishment of a Felcra laboratory and a R&D Centre in Melaka.

The third MoU was between Melaka Biotech Holding and Southern Petro
Chemical Industry Corporation (SPIC) Limited of India, a company which
has expertise in producing biofertilisers and enzymes.

The two agreements signed were between Melaka Biotech Holding and PTV
Filem Production Sdn Bhd as well as Info Valley Malaysia to create
greater awareness on biotechnology through the electronic media.

Mohd Ali also said the latest endeavour by the institute would involved
collaboration with MDS Pharma Services from the United States in anti-
cancer treatment from plants and herbs in Malaysia.


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