Crop Biotech Update

Biomass to Boost Malaysian Economy

December 2, 2011

Prime Minister Dato' Najib Tun Razak expects agricultural biomass to be a key commodity for wealth creation during the launch of the National Biomass Strategy 2020 at the recently concluded BioMalaysia conference in Kuala Lumpur. As the world's largest exporter of palm oil, Malaysia generates a sizeable quantity of biomass, which holds tremendous potential for high value added applications ranging from biofuels sector to bioplastics from cellulosic feedstock. With an estimated value of USD11.14 billion in 2015, biomass is targeted to be a vital contributor to the agricultural and industrial biotechnology sectors. We are excited about the prospects and we are optimistic of performing well in this sector," Najib added.

Commenting on biomass, Najib said, "Collaborations between public and private institutions must be promulgated to unlock value from the breadth and depth of available biomass." Unveiling the country's Biomass Strategy themed "Biomass to Wealth" at the opening ceremony, Najib explained how the Biomass Strategy will put "Malaysia on the map as the world leader in new, innovative and sustainable industries". The Strategy will see the creation of new industries and 70,000 jobs. Touching on the environmental aspect of the Strategy, Najib spoke of how the utilization of biogas for energy will lead to a reduction in emissions while the resulting surplus biomass is to be utilized for high value-added applications. By 2020, the Biomass Strategy will generate RM30 billion for Malaysia. The Strategy is developed by Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) in close collaboration with key government agencies, universities and business leaders.

Contact Kenneth Fung of the Malaysia Biotechnology Information Center at kenneth@bic.org.my for details of the news story.