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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Sabah To Sign Pact With India's Pulp And Paper Giant

KOTA KINABALU, April 29 (Bernama) -- Sabah is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India's pulp and paper giant, Ballapur Industries Ltd, next month for a joint venture in the state.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the state, through its Innoprise Corporation Sdn Bhd (ICSB), will sign the MoU which is expected to be followed by joint venture agreement before end of this year.

"Ballapur is the biggest paper producer in India and an exporter to the United States, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South America," he said.

"I believe there are many advantages to be gained in working together as India is advanced in information technology and research and development, especially in providing added value to products," he added.

"There will be more business ventures arising from the various meetings we have there," Musa told reporters on his return here Saturday after leading a 16-member delegation on an industry and investment mission to India for seven days.

On the proposed venture with Ballapur, he said the state government has identified a 60-hectare site with 36 hectares suitable for timber cultivation under the project.

He also said that though Sabah is a paper producer through Sabah Forest Industries, the paper quality could not match that of Ballapur.

Musa said another Indian company, Aditya Birla Group, is interested to invest in the palm oil industry cluster area in Lahad Datu, especially in producing fertiliser and cement.

He said the company, which is currently operating in 18 countries including a palm oil refinery in Johor, could bring benefit to the state's palm oil industry.


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