MALAYSIA AIMING TO DEVELOP BIOTECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY
The Malaysian government is aiming to boost the country's biotechnology sector by purchasing technology from abroad. It is hoped that the introduction of the new technology will help stimulate production in the domestic drug industry. The government has recently announced that biotechnology will be a key engine of growth for the country's economy over the coming years.
To this end, the National Biotechnology Policy has been launched, which will concentrate on developing infrastructure and attracting foreign investment. However, these plans could be jeopardised in the short term by Malaysia's poor intellectual property protection. In 2004, the US Trade Representative (USTR) listed Malaysia as a 'Watch List' country in its Special Report on Intellectual Property Protection.
Malaysia's attempts to develop its biotechnology industry will also be hampered
by competition from regional neighbours. Singapore is about to commence phase
II development of its US$287mn biotech R&D park Biopolis. The completed
project will provide state-of-the art facilities for pharmaceutical and biotechnology
companies and has already received investment from more than 15 of the world's