MEEF - Middle East Engineering Projects News & Releases - previous page
July | August |
September | October
| November |December
| January Projects
businessmen seeking huge opportunities are clearly turning their
attention to the Middle East. Yet, finding real success in a
business landscape, which by no means can be described as
flawless, indicates that extreme caution, like most overseas
ventures, needs to be practised.
A growing sweet spot
DARSHINI M. NATHAN
INDIA and China have long been sweet spots for Malaysian
companies looking for investment opportunities abroad.
Understandably, the sheer size of the two markets makes them
hard to ignore.
In the case of India, opportunities in the country served as
beacons of hope particularly for local construction companies,
which not too long ago, were forced out of their comfort zones
to look for new businesses abroad.
As for China, there was the sense at one point that if you are
not invested in the republic, then you are sure to lose out.
No doubt the general exuberance about setting up shop in China
has been fuelled by the country's vast economic potential, its
quick but firm embrace of capitalism and its population's rising
These two markets still hold a wealth of appeal for Malaysian
companies but there is no denying that there is another region
that is competing for the attention of Malaysian investors.
The truth is, Malaysian companies are carving out a sphere of
influence in the Middle East, a process that is being helped
along by Malaysia's status as an Islamic country.
Indeed, there has been a steady flow of news in recent times
about local companies securing lucrative deals in the Gulf.
A prime example is Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary's flagship
company MMC Corp Bhd, which grabbed headlines in early November
last year when it announced that it had secured the rights to
develop and manage the US$30bil Jizan Economic City together
with the Saudi Binladen Group.
The mammoth development that will be undertaken over a 30-year
period will comprise several key components such as a port,
power plant and aluminium smelter among other things.
Last week, Syed Mokhtar surfaced in news reports once again when
it came to light that his private vehicle SKS Ventures Sdn Bhd
will partner with the National Iranian Oil Company to develop a
US$16bil gas project in Iran.
His involvement in these projects, no doubt, is expected to lead
to significant spill over effects for the entities within Syed
Mokhtar's diverse stable of companies.
Already, there is talk that the Port of Tanjong Pelepas, which
is 70%-owned by MMC, is likely to land the port operation and
management contract for the planned seaport in Saudi Arabia's
new economic city.
Aminuddin Baki Esa: The Middle East and North Africa market is
hard to ignore given that its ICT sector is among the fastest
growing in the world.
A close aide of Syed Mokhtar says these initiatives have been in
the planning stage for about five years now.
“This push to go to the Middle East is not something new. Now
that MMC has grown to a certain size, it has the capabilities to
go overseas to focus on its core competencies,” he says.
Admittedly, the region's infrastructure sector holds limitless
opportunities for Malaysian players.