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SMALL- and medium-sized industries (SMIs) in the country should tap the growing market for chilled and frozen food, both here and overseas.
The plantation sector is set to maintain good growth in 2005. United Plantations Bhd executive director (corporate affairs) Carl Bek-Nielsen, Golden Hope Bhd group chief executive Datuk Sabri Ahmad and PPB Oil Palms Bhd's MD Khoo Eng Min give their views in interviews with StarBiz.
IOI Group has undergone significant global and local expansion in its efforts to be optimally integrated in the full value chain. Group executive director Datuk Lee Yeow Chor notes that the IOI group, which will be strengthening its new acquisitions, was able to perform above market expectation despite a turbulent external environment.
STARBIZ asked Golden Hope chief executive Datuk Sabri Ahmad to shed some light on what is happening in the plantation sector and its outlook.
SAP AG and Microsoft have introduced I>Duet, /I>a system meant to eliminate information workers' reliance on business application experts while seamlessly linking these two groups.
Malaysia's golden crop, the oil palm, has seen demand and attractiveness for its oil increase by leaps and bounds. Golden Hope chief executive Datuk Sabri Ahmad says as the only integrated plantation player, potential merger synergies will be important for the group. Despite many fears about investing in Papua New Guinea, Kulim went ahead to build up its plantations in that country. Managing director Ahamad Mohamad says that has been just about one of the best moves that the group has made in its overseas ventures. The next area of focus will be Kalimantan. The consumer outlook varies from segment to segment. For Rajah Kumar, chairman and CEO of Philips Malaysia, the group sees opportunities in the healthcare and lifestyle segments where a major emphasis is on improving the quality of life.
IOI Corp Bhd's overseas plants are located in three strategic locations but its business has global reach, says group executive director Datuk Lee Yeow Chor. Fighting a tough consumer market, Guinness Anchor managing director Theo de Rond is confident the group's diverse portfolio of brands will continue to appeal to a wide range of consumer taste. At Suria KLCC, general manager Andrew Brien sees a challenging year for the consumer market. Consumers are looking for value which he defines in various categories.