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Malaysia's Herbal Sector To Grow At 10 Pct

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's herbal industry is expected to grow at


10 percent per annum, said Deputy Minister of Finance, Datuk Kong Cho Ha.
"As of 2007, the industry was estimated to be worth about RM8 billion," he told a media
briefing on the 2nd Global Bio-Herbs Economic Forum 2008 (GBHEF 2008) here today.
Malaysia will host the GBHEF 2008 from Nov 15-17.
Kong said the government has also targeted the herbal industry to be another growth
sector after information and communication technology.
"The biotech sector is projected to contribute about five percent to the nation's gross
domestic product by 2020.
"To date, the industry has already attracted RM1.3 billion in investments," he said.
He said even although the industry was still at its infancy stage, the government was
undeterred and would forge ahead to make the country an important biotech hub in AsiaPacific.
"The government has made serious effort to promote and develop biotech.
"Among the main focus of the National Biotechnology Policy is the development of the
bio-pharmaceutical and bio-medical products which will provide an impetus for further
development of the herbal industry," he said.
Kong said the GBHEF 2008 would provide a platform for the country to explore the vast
potential of the global herbal industry.
Meanwhile, secretary general of the GBHEF council, Prof Dr Mohd Azmi Mohd Lila,
said the forum was expected to attract more than 3,000 participants from various
countries.
The inaugural GBHEF was held at Dalian, China last year.
"The main objective of the forum is to nurture and accelerate the Asian bio-herbs
industry," he said.
Dr Mohd Azmi said the council would organise activities to nurture and accelerate the
growth of the bio-herbs industry as well as establish business opportunities for
herbalprenuers.
"Among them are holding workshops, business networking sessions, country forums and

exhibition.
"The exhibition will have 80 booths which will showcase the latest health products from
around the world," he said.