Sunday, May 18, 2008

11th MSC-IAP Meeting: Abdullah Wants IAP Members To Look Into Food Production

source: bernama via msc malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today urged the Malaysian International Advisory Panel (IAP) to consider the role of new technologies, innovation and applications in helping to increase food production and enhance the management of food and energy resources. "Given the current global economic scenario, with the world average food prices going up by 75 per cent since 2000, I feel it is perhaps the most opportune time to put Information Communication and Technology (ICT), agriculture and biotechnology to work to overcome some of the challenges that Malaysia and the rest of the world are currently facing," he said in his opening speech of the 11th Malaysia IAP Meeting held here. The prime minister said a flagship application which combined efforts in agriculture and biotechnology, along with advances in ICT, could be undertaken if there was enough interest.

"Perhaps, these could be the area of discussion and I invite IAP members to give their views on this," he said.

Abdullah said the Malaysian government will continue to build its strength by continuing to undertake sound economic policy management as well as diversifying the economic sector and our export destinations.

"Domestic demand constitutes about 87 per cent of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), boding well as a cushion against the negative effects of an increasingly unstable global economy.

"My government is committed to moving the Malaysian economy up the value chain. We will also continue to implement growth-centered as well as people-centered programmes and initiatives under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP)," he said. Meanwhile, Abdullah said the country had achieved much on the ICT front as after 12 years, MSC Malaysia was now home to more than 2,000 companies including home grown companies and multinationals, of which about 100 were leading global companies. "In 2007, MSC-status companies' turnover was approximately RM13.6 billion - an increase of more than 25 per cent compared to 2002.

"MSC Malaysia-status companies are also exporting more with the export figure from 2007 reported to be RM4.9 billion, this represents an increase of more than 40 per cent compared to 2002," said prime minister.

Abdullah said about RM800 million was spent by these companies in Research and Development (R&D) last year, which was more than three times the amount spent in 2002. To date, a total of 2,178 intellectual properties (IPs) of various kinds had been registered, he added.

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