News & Events

Lahad Datu - an ideal destination

KOTA KINABALU, Wed. (July 8, 2009) - The Sabah Government is keen to pursue cooperation with the Port of Rotterdam (POR), the Netherlands, in developing the state's oil palm industries.

"We look forward to your expertise in port development and operation, as well as your global customer base to help make Lahad Datu an international maritime hub, as well as a hub port for vegetable oils," Minister of Industrial Development Datuk Raymond Tan said.

He was speaking to a visiting delegation from the POR who were in Sabah this week to follow up on negotiation with state-owned POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd to develop the Lahad Datu palm oil industrial cluster (POIC Lahad Datu) and related port & harbour infrastructure.

Captain Kees Weststrate, the leader of the five-man POR team, told the minister that the board of directors of POR had given the go-ahead because of very positive analysis emerging from POR's earlier visits to Sabah.

Compared to POR's analysis of ports in other parts of the world where POR sought joint-ventures, Lahad Datu rated high (9+ on a scale of 10) in terms of port characteristics, geography, investment climate and potential business activities, he added.

He said POR saw Lahad Datu as an ideal destination for POR to have a significant presence in an area which shows promises of an emerging market. A presence in Lahad Datu will also help POR, which is the most important port in Europe and ranks (in terms of cargo handling volume) just outside Singapore and Shanghai, to secure strategic flow of cargo, particularly palm oil and other raw materials needed to support European industries.

Datuk Raymond acknowledged that POR, as a four-century old entity, is a globally recognized brand name synonymous to size, quality and professionalism.

"Lahad Datu will do well to be able to provide the service and infrastructure standard, and the global linkages which the Port of Rotterdam possesses," he said.

Datuk Raymond (centre) being briefed by Cpt Kees Weststrate (2nd left) of the Port of Rotterdam Authority at the Ministry of Industrial Development in Kota Kinabalu on July 6. Others in the photo are (L-R) Franz van Zoelen (Head of Legal Department, POR), Dr Leonard Gomes (Manager, Business Development, POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd), Dr Pang Teck Wai (CEO, POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd), Patrick Tan (Director, Department of Industrial Development & Research) and David Lee (Consultant, POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd)

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