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900 attend International Biomass Conference

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KUCHING: At least 900 delegates from Australia, Singapore, the United States, the Netherlands, South Korea, Denmark and Japan are attending the International Biomass Conference Malaysia (IBCM) 2017 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) until today (Oct 20).

The IBCM 2017, themed ‘Biomass Industry Revolution 4.0: Innovation-led Bio-based Economy’, brings together key industry players, technology and solution providers, scientists and leading biomass stakeholders to share insights, explore business opportunities and partnership models to move the agenda of the biomass industry forward.

The two-day event, which features a line-up of 18 foreign speakers or panellists including 15 subject matter experts from Malaysia, aims at accelerating the integration of Malaysian biomass industry players into the global value chain.

It is jointly organised by the Malaysian Innovation Agency (AIM), Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), Sarawak State Planning Unit (SPU) and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade).

“Sarawak alone could potentially generate an additional RM4.8 billion in gross national income, create 30,000 new jobs and RM18 billion in investment opportunities throughout the bio-economy value chain, utilising around six million dry tonnes of its biomass resources,” according to a statement yesterday.

In delivering his welcoming address, Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the biomass industry had been regarded as one of the main pillars for a sustainable bio-economy.

“Malaysia has gained international recognition as one of the preferred destinations for this industry. Nonetheless, the biomass sector has not been progressing as fast as it should because of issues and challenges,” he said in his text of speech read out by Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

Mustapa said the issues and challenges were depressed global economy, fluctuating oil and gas prices, complexities in the supply chain and maturity of technologies. He added that there had also been obstacles for commercialisation of biomass products.

“Like any other renewable sectors such as solar and wind, the biomass sector would take time to localise and achieve the right formulation for market competitiveness.

“One thing remains clear, Malaysia is on the right track, as it is not a question of ‘Will it happen’ but ‘When’,” he asserted.

An exhibition by stakeholders along the biomass value chain ranging from technology providers, researchers to investors is also held in conjunction with the two-day conference.

A uniquely designed pavilion is also featured during the conference to enable participants to gain a better understanding of the activities spearheaded by AIM.


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