ImageIn a move to boost the bilateral trade relationship between Malaysia and India, Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp), the lead development agency for the biotechnology industry in Malaysia, kicked off their first business development engagement for 2009 in Hyderabad and Chennai with the Indian media members and industry participants. The latest updates on the Indian-Malaysian investment initiatives were shared to address the current challenging economic climate.

BiotechCorp's visit to India is expected to provide participants of the industry with a complete assessment of the business potential in Malaysia and strengthen Indian companies' ability to identify and exploit business opportunities there. Fresh collaboration announcements are expected from the meetings scheduled with key players of the Indian biotechnology and life sciences companies.

BiotechCorp has already entered into partnership with Manipal Education and Medical Group of India, while the Chennai-based Malladi Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd has announced plans to invest in the region to tap business opportunities.

"We currently have global investors from India, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, US, China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. All of these investors continue to take a very positive view of Malaysia as a rapidly developing biotechnology hub. Even in present circumstances – there is still a good measure of resilience from external shocks, which the Malaysian economy still offer in comparison to our neighboring countries," said, Selvam Ramaraj, senior vice president, industry development division (Healthcare), BiotechCorp.

"Biotechnology has been identified as one of the key drivers for growth by the Malaysian government and will continue to be supported as one of the new sources of growth not only for the nation's economy, but as an enabler to move conventional sectors up the value chain. Kuala Lumpur-based BiotechCorp was established in 2005 to play the leading role in building the biotechnology business in Malaysia by creating a conductive environment and actively promoting foreign direct investments in biotechnology," he added.

In the 2009 budget, the Malaysian government has allocated a RM13.7 billion (US$3 billion) to enhance healthcare, which include increasing the supply of medicine, intensifying research and enforcement activities as well as further strengthening the growth of healthcare biotechnology. This is in line with BiotechCorp's BioNexus status, which is given to companies to enjoy a set of incentives and privileges contained within the BioNexus Bill of Guarantee.

Some of the incentives offered via the BioNexus status include: Freedom of ownership to source funds globally and to bring in knowledge workers; 100 per cent income tax exemption for 10 years commencing from the first year the company derives profit or investment tax allowance of 100 per cent on the qualifying capital expenditure incurred within a period of 5 years; Tax exemption on dividends distributed by a BioNexus company; Exemption of import duty and sales tax on raw materials/components and machinery/equipment; Double deduction on expenditure incurred for R&D

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