MPCorp aborts ambitious Asia Pacific Trade and Expo City project

The Asia Pacific Trade & Exhibition City (APTEC) in Lakehill Resort City in Johor.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Pacific Corp Bhd’s (MPCorp) plan to team up with China state-owned Black Sea Horizon Investment Holdings Ltd to undertake the ambitious Asia Pacific Trade and Expo City (Aptec) project in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, has fallen through.

The property investment and development company, which signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Black Sea Horizon on Oct 3, 2013, and has extended the MoU period several times, told Bursa Malaysia on Friday that the MoU was not extended and had therefore lapsed.

It did not give any reason for not extending further the MoU.

To recap, MPCorp and Black Horizon had intended to promote Malaysia as Asia “economic corridor” of trade and services link with China, Asean, India and the Middle East.

Under the MoU, the two parties were to coordinate and secure the relevant co-operation with appropriate partners, with the approvals from the regulatory bodies in China and Malaysia, for the Aptec project.

Aptec was to be a consumer products trade hub, serving as a platform for the China-Malaysia strategic economic partnership.

To be located on the 638-acre Lakehill Resort City in Johor, Aptec was envisaged to be the premier on-stop permanent trade and exposition convenience centre for the new “Silk Route” of trade, sourcing, procurement and distribution showcase window for China manufactured consumer products as well as products made in Asean, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India and the Middle East.

The plan was to build an indoor exhibition trade hall space on 300,000 sq m out of the total 750,000 sq m of the total gross floor area of Aptec city. Aptec city was  to comprise facilities such as hotels, convention halls, shopping malls, international tourist replica cities, and factory discount outlets.

Aptec was to serve as a launching pad for promotion of new satellites, with distribution and receiving centres located in all the major port cities of China and special economic zones in Shanghai, Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macau, Tianjin, Nanning, Xiamen, Ningpo, Dalian, acting in collaboration and synergy.

In January 2014, MPCorp said it and Black Sea had mutually agreed to extend the MoU period by another two months.

It noted that Black Sea had made a few site visits and sent its merger and acquisition team from Dec 14 to 18, 2013, to undertake the evaluation of the proposed joint-ventures on Aptec and Lakehill Resort development.

Subsequently, Black Sea had requested for further time to study the massive Aptec project.

In March 2014, the parties again extended the MoU, this time to May 2014. In May, MPCorp said the two were in discussion to extend the MoU period.

In January this year, MPCorp said the company and Black Sea were still in discussion to extend the MoU period and to re-negotiate further some of the material terms of the MoU.

MPCorp shares closed unchanged at 18.5 sen on Friday.

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