Malaysia to attract US biotechnology investments of RM5b

SAN FRANCISCO: The Malaysian bio-based and biotechnology industry is expected to attract investments of RM5 billion from the United States (US) between 2016-2020.

This follows the opening of Malaysian Biotechnology Corp's (BiotechCorp) flagship office, BiotechCorp International Inc (BII) here on Monday. 

Chief Executive Officer Datuk Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal said the American market's contribution is part of the projected RM15 billion investments under the third phase of the National Biotechnology Policy between 2016-2020.

The policy was established in 2005 to turn Malaysia's biotechnology sector into a key economic driver for the nation.

"BII is not just focused on investments from the US to Malaysia. We also want Malaysian companies to take advantage of the office in San Francisco by investing in the US," he said.

Mohd Nazlee was speaking to Malaysian reporters after the launch of BII by Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Minister, Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin on Friday.

Among those present was the Director of the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Todd Rufo, as well as senior management of MOSTI and BiotechCorp.

The San Francisco Specialised Investment Mission was also organised on the sidelines of the official opening of the office.

Since its inception in 2005, BiotechCorp has undertaken various business development initiatives to attract US-based foreign direct investments into Malaysia.

To date, it has attracted RM2.63 billion in aggregate investments from US-based companies.

BiotechCorp has also organised business development and collaboration initiatives with the California Institute for Quantitative Bio Sciences, Larta Institute and companies such as Abbott Medical Optics and Verdezyne Inc.

BiotechCorp's office is situated near Mission Bay, an area which is a hotbed for biotechnology and life sciences companies.

It will be the contact point for the bio-based and biotechnology sector in the US, as the country is a hub for biotechnology venture capitalists and funders.

"Four companies are keen to establish their presence in San Francisco together with BiotechCorp.
"The four will be an early start for Malaysian companies to tap into technology and expertise from San Francisco," said Mohd Nazlee.

He said the agency was also looking to expand to the European market. 

"Europe is an important target for us. We have been successful but not on this continent. Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom will be an in important strategic partner and investments for the next five years," he added.

BiotechCorp was part of a trade and investment mission to Milan, Italy on June 9.

The agency under MOSTI will also participate in the 2015 BIO International Convention in Philadelphia in the US between from June 15-18.- Bernama

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