MYANMAR: Malaysian group to develop rubber supply chain in Myanmar

To realise the goal, the group has signed a memorandung of understanding (MoU) with local partner, Pho La Min Trading Ltd (PLM), to explore rubber plantations and rubber processing in Myanmar.

FGV President and Chief Executive Officer Datuk Sabri Ahmad said under the deal, a joint-venture company will be set up to develop rubber business in three phases, starting with the establishment of a processing plant.

"We hope to conclude this in December or early next year and then we will plan to grow rubber trees on 30,000 hectares in Myeik.

"As for the third phase, we are looking at downstream opportunities such as tyre manufacturing and rubber glove," he told reporters after the MoU signing in Yangon.

In addition to this, he said, FGV also wants to emulate Felda's social scheme in Myeik and was studying the feasibility.

Sabri said the group had also identified areas suitable for sugar cane and oil palm plantations.
"Generally, the southern region areas are more suitable for oil palm. The middle region and other areas are a bit too dry for oil palm. So, rubber is more feasible.

"Sugar cane in Mandalay area is suitable. So, we are discussing with other Myanmar companies to explore the possibility of planting sugar cane in Mandalay, he said.

Sabri said the group has been aggressively exploring opportunities in Myanmar since last year following the country's economic liberalisation recently.

Source: Daily "The Star", Kuala Lumpur, through "Bernama" (Malaysian National News Agency); 1 Oct 2012

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)