Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Price of raw unclean bird's nest may increase

Bird’s nest export prices are expected to quintuple after Malaysia inked a deal with China to ship raw edible nests to the People’s Republic.

Malaysia’s deal with China, said Malaysia’s Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, could bring about RM1.5 billion (US$340,456,560) in profits to the local bird’s nest industry, but this could also mean the price for the product for local consumption may increase.

The deal, called Protocol of Inspection, Quarantine and Veterinary Hygiene Requirements for the Exportation of Raw, Uncleaned, Edible Bird’s Nest, is everything the name suggests.

The protocol sets standards for Malaysia’s 10,000 bird’s nest farmers to sell their raw product to the ministry, which will then export it untouched to China, where it will be processed and cleaned in Qinzhou and then sold to the Chinese market.

Malaysia has a RM22 million (US$4,993,363) joint quarantine, processing and testing plant with China in the Qinzhou Industrial Park.

China banned imports of bird’s nests from Malaysia in 2011 after finding nitrate in some of the nests.

“Everything will go through us and we will make sure this will be certified under standards we agreed on with China,” Ahmad Shabery said in the Parliament lobby yesterday.

He said when China imposed the ban, the price of Malaysia’s bird’s nest dropped from RM8,000 (US$1,815.80) per nest to less than RM1,000 (US$227.20) and this put constraints on local farmers.

“This deal gives a good message with the possibility of boosting our price to RM3,000 (US$680.80) or maybe even RM5,000 (US$1,134.60),” he said.

There are about 20,000 registered bird’s nest farms in the country and each requires an investment of up to RM300,000 (US$68,091.30) from the farmers.

A hike in the price for their product would ensure the survivability of the industry, Ahmad Shabery said.

During a question-and-answer session in Parliament with Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (Umno-Lenggong), Ahmad Shabery also discouraged farmers from trying to process bird’s nest themselves, as the results could be disastrous in terms of quality control.

“Now we have a platform to do everything legally that fulfils quality standards, so what happened three-years ago won’t happen again,” he said.

Malaysia produces about 300 metric tonnes of bird’s nest annually.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Swiftlet houses in Sibu

These picture was taken when I stayed at RH Hotel, Sibu. I can see more than 10 swiftlet premises. The birds entrance is from the roof top to maintain the original look of the building.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Protocol on export of Raw Uncleaned to China Signed

Malaysia and China have signed 14 Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) related to the defence, economy, agriculture, education, finance and the construction sectors.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang witnessed the signing ceremonies after jointly chairing a bilateral meeting between Malaysia and China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday.

The New Straits Times quoted Najib as saying the 14 business arrangements sealed between two countries were worth RM143.64 billion.

"What we achieved today is historic,” he told a press conference with Malaysian media in Beijing yesterday.

The bilateral meeting was also attended by the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to China Ong Ka Ting, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mah Siew Kiong.

Also present were International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Shabery Cheek, and Education Minister Mahadzir Khalid.

The Malaysian delegation also included Sarawak Local Government Minister Sim Kui Hian, Johor Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman, Malacca Chief Minister Idris Haron and senior government officials.

Hishammuddin inked an MOU with his counterpart General Chang Wanquan on the renewal of Bilateral Defence Cooperation, while Ahmad Shabery signed an MOU on Agriculture Cooperation with his counterpart, Zhi Suhping.

Ahmad Shabery also inked a Protocol between the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China and Malaysia's Agriculture Mnistry on Inspection, Quarantine and Veterinary Hygiene Requirements for Export Raw-unclean Edible Birdnest with Zhi.

Among the agreements signed were the renewal of the MOU on Education Cooperation with China between Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid and China's Education Minister Chen Baosheng.

Finance Ministry secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah also signed the binding Financial Framework Agreement between Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRLSB) with The Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM) with EXIM vice-president Yuan Xinyong.

Najib earlier received a courtesy call from National People's Congress (NPC) chairperson Zhang Dejiang at the Great Hall of the People before being welcomed by Li at a special welcoming ceremony on the grounds of the area.

The Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian national flag) and China's national flag were flying proudly in the chilly evening, and the national anthems of both countries, Negaraku and 'March of the Volunteers' filled the air the moment Najib and Li reached the dais to receive a salute from the guard-of-honour mounted by the Chinese People's Liberation Army as well as a 19-gun salute.

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Export of Raw Uncleaned EBN to China

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 (Bernama) -- Mutual respect and trust are the key factors ensuring the China-Malaysia relationship stays strong and continues to prosper.

China's Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang also described the relationship as akin to a Chinese proverb that translates to, "Friendship is like wine, the older the better."

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's recent working visit to China was not only a huge success in strengthening bilateral ties, but also helping Malaysia's development into the future.

"I don't understand why there are claims that Najib's visit was to 'sell off' Malaysia to China, with no support for the efforts taken to boost trade and investment between both countries," he told reporters here today.

He said Najib's visit to China would not only benefit big industries, but also smallholders in the agricultural sector.

"Another initiative is to enhance the export of palm oil and bird nests to China," he added.

During the visit, Najib proposed to his counterpart Li Keqiang, that China increase the purchase of palm oil, considering that there are 500,000 smallholders in Malaysia.

He also raised the issue of raw unclean edible bird's nest exports to China, while giving an assurance that the facility to export the product would be settled as soon as possible, as it involved 10,000 swiftlet farmers in Malaysia.

Malaysia is reportedly the world's second largest producer of bird's nests, and would be exporting raw unclean bird's nest to China, besides the processed product.

The bird's nest market in China stands at US$1.8 billion per annum.

Huang said prior to the discussion, the Chinese government had given a positive response towards considering the proposals and would take necessary action to increase imports of palm oil and bird's nests from Malaysia.

On concerns of stiff competition from Malaysia's small and medium enterprises amid rising investments and participation from China, he said there was nothing to worry, because the spin-off effects were fair and equal.

"There is nothing to worry. Chinese companies also have corporate social responsibility policies and are not benefit-oriented," he added.

He explained that to invest in Malaysia, the Chinese companies need local partners with job opportunities to be created, alongside, technology transfer.

"Such collaboration will complement one another, as there will be technology transfer, exchange of expertise, as well as possibly localising production to support the industry," Huang said.

During his visit to China earlier this month, Najib managed to secure for Malaysia, investments worth RM144 billion with 14 trade agreements covering the economy, defence, agriculture, education, finance and construction sealed.