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Potential of Paulownia and Napier
Published on: Thursday, December 06, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The hybrid hardwood paulownia, if planted on over 10,000 hectares can generate 355,000 of containers for export after five years.

Paulownia is a light density medium hardwood and is good for furniture and musical instruments as well as veneers and plywood. There are 27 species of Paulownia, but only one species has been targeted for tropical planting.

The BIMPEAGA Business Council (BEBC), in a statement, Wednesday, encourage big plantation owners to test plant this hybrid version over 100 acres to justify its suitability before planting big, while saying it is always around for guidance.


According to the Council, the export of Paulownia in containers will represent a good load of return cargo to China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

Many foreign container vessels have earlier avoided Kota Kinabalu port because there are no Sabah exports in the form of return cargo, it said, adding Sabah just cannot make its ports bigger without complementing on generating exports, as this should go together hand-in-hand.

Any reliance on transhipment cargoes can be a wishful thinking because practically every country now wants to attract more ships, it added.

It said Malaysia as a whole import 3 million tonnes of corn for the local animal feedmill industry that is valued at RM3.2 billion.


But to plant corn in the country will require large chunks of arable land. Hybrid Napier is an alternative to corn and local planting of Napier will greatly reduce the country's corn imports and savings on foreign exchange.

Moreover, the commercial planting of Napier can at the same time generate the expansion of the livestock industry because Napier is foliage for these livestock.

BEBC also said it intents to invite Chinese planters to jointly invest with local interested parties to achieve a common objective to turn Sabah into a food basket.

These were among topics discussed during the BEBC Malaysia Chairman Datuk Roselan Johar Mohamed's courtesy call on China Consul General in Kota Kinabalu, Liang Caide, at his Consulate General Office here. BEBC Sabah Chairman Carl Mosoom, Vice Consul Zhang Qi, Executive Secretary Junzuenn Basalan and Head of SME Cluster N K Foo, among others, were also present.


Much of the discussions were centred on trade matters and connectivity and expanding towards food baskets and research programs. Both sides agreed that if Sabah wants to increase its exports, then more emphasis must be concentrated on commercial agricultural production. The manufacturing business is also not forgotten.

At the same time, China has expressed their interest on the power generating industry as well as the construction of roads and bridges. They will also investigate the sharing of the submarine cable to deliver power to Palawan. BEBC is awaiting the full report from ADB.

Meanwhile, Moosom also briefed Liang on BEBC Sabah's current programmes and activities.

Both Liang and Moosom shared the growing importance of China's cooperation with BIMP-EAGA and the need of a continued mind engagement on interests such as connectivity and agriculture.

Moosom also suggested that China to utilise Sabah as an airline hub connecting to other cities such as Manado, Zamboanga and Balikpapan to boost tourism activities, while Liang assured that his office will ever be ready to relook all possibilities and welcome suggestions from business councillors as well as private sector.

BEBC Sabah will host the BIMP-EAGA Trade Expo & Business Forum in 2020, which will be participated by all BIMP countries including China, Japan and Northern Territory Australia, as members of the BIMP-EAGA trade nations.

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