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Asian Supply Base optimistic of weathering economic turbulence

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July 18, 2017, Tuesday, LABUAN: Fully integrated logistics hub, Asian Supply Base Sdn Bhd (ASB), is optimistic of weathering the unpredictable economic condition as it has diversified its earnings base over the years.

The Labuan-based Sabah  government-linked company is expanding its business operations into halal distribution as part its diversification plan.

Chief Executive Officer Dato' Hj Harris Hj Annuar Tan said the diversification was necessary to complement its core business activity of being the logistics hub for the oil and gas (O&G) industry.

“Under the current economic situation, we must look at other avenues to complement and expand our core business… the growth of the halal trade, globally, prompted us to think of this industry.

“(Venturing into halal industry) is not only to sustain our workforce but also to ensure our infrastructure and facilities are fully utilised…part of our base can also be used for halal logistics,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Harris, who is also Labuan Halal Hub Chairman, said ASB’s vast land was not only meant for O&G infrastructure but could also be utilised to provide manufacturing and warehousing infrastructure support.

He said a number of high-ranking ASB officials were on business trips to Europe, United States, Australia and China to lure potential investors to Labuan.

“We have sufficient land for investors, we have no problem in providing them land for their business operations and infrastructure…the Labuan Member of Parliament and the Labuan Corporation have agreed to assist us, should we need more land,” he said.

Harris said the ASB had injected large investments to provide infrastructure especially for the O&G players over the last 35 years.

“We must provide enough infrastructure for the investors to come and that is why ASB, through its subsidiary, and Sabah’s GLCs are looking at partnering foreign investors from United Kingdom to attract more industries soon to Labuan,” he said.

He added that under the current sluggish situation, oil exploration and production jobs may be slower but maintenance and services continued to ‘stay afloat’ and was on the upside.

Harris said ASB, established more than three decades ago, has gone through tremendous transformation and has earned international recognition from international O&G firms.

“As such, ASB has the expertise to provide halal-certified facilities and infrastructure as we are capable of creating clearly demarcated halal storage zones.

“ASB has been recognised as among the world’s best logistics base, given its facilities and infrastructure, thanks to the support of Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman who ensured ASB continued to help prosper the Labuan economy,” he said.

Harris said given ASB’s capability and experience as a logistics hub, it would continue to serve O&G players and simultaneously facilitate halal trade shipment.

Labuan’s strategic location within the ASEAN region has made ASB most suited for the role as the main gateway to provide integration of logistics services for halal entrepreneurs wishing to market their products to other countries in the region. — Bernama