News From : DagangHalal.com (10 Feb 2010)
DUBAI – Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC), the world’s third largest shipping company, opened its Middle East regional office in Dubai on Monday, and said the move was to position itself as a leading logistics provider for the GCC’s $43-billion Halal food industry.
Amir Hamzah Azizan, president and chief executive of the shipping giant with a fleet of 170 vessels, said the regional office would support Malaysian oil and gas giant Petronas’ continued growth and expansion in the Middle East. Petronas, which forayed into the Iraqi oil and gas industry, recently secured development rights to four oilfields in Iraq.
“The Middle East region now has a leadership role in the global oil and gas market and is seeing a strong and growing economy. Being one of the world’s leading energy transporters, it makes sense for MISC to be closely associated with the leading producers of oil and gas,” Amir Hamzah said at the official opening ceremony held on Monday night.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Amir Hamzah said the recession-hit global shipping industry was on a slow and steady path to recovery. “After a tumultuous 2009, we hope this year will be better in comparison. We will continue to face difficulties but of a lesser degree.”
He said MISC has placed the Middle East as a permanent fixture in its tanker trade routes, and also formulated strong partnerships with several keys players in the region, in a variety of business.
MISC Integrated Logistics (MILS), a subsidiary of the shipping giant, has set up a joint venture with Rais Hassan Saadi, a partnership that links the MILS Logistics Hub in Port Klang with the Air Cargo Hub in Dubai, creating an exclusive halal hub facility in the region, said Amir Hamzah.
The decision to open a regional base in Dubai underscored the strategic importance of the emirate as a global trans-shipment hub. The move was based on geography and the company’s long-term business plan for its liner services. It also fits in with MISC’s strategy to become a leading provider of safe and trusted transportation for the halal industry, he said.
The Halal food industry in the GCC is estimated to be worth more than $43 billion, and the Emirates’ food-processing sector is expected to rise by 11 per cent annually, he said. “Recognising the high potential of Halal logistics here and in line with the Malaysian Government’s plan to turn Malaysia into a regional Halal Centre for Asia, MISC has launched several key initiatives, including Halal Express Service, to become a leading Halal player in the region.”
The GCC region plays a significant role in the growth plans and strategy of MISC. “With the opening of the regional office, we intend to reaffirm our commitment to this region and further enhance our role as a leading transportation partner for the region,” said Amir Hamzah.