Asia Times Online
Bernama Oana, New Delhi
Thursday, June
22, 2006

Indian, Malaysian firms go herbal

India's major herbal extracts and neutraceuticals exporter, Sami Labs Ltd, is on the verge of forming a joint-venture in Malaysia to cultivate and produce herbal ingredients.

It is currently in talks with Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) for a 50:50 tie-up, says a Bangalore-datelined report in the financial daily Hindu Business Line, quoting Sami Labs' managing director Dr Muhammad Majid.

Malaysia, Dr Muhammad said, had several unique and untapped medicinal plants with a large potential as sources of nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals (herbs with nutritive and cosmetic value).

He said Sami has identified 12 species and conducted trials on 50 acres in Sabah.

Sami would retain the marketing and distribution of the ingredients through its own global arm Sabisna, which is already present in Malaysia, Dr Muhammad was quoted as saying in Business Line.

The arrangement may subsequently be extended to include a research and development center in Malaysia.

The collaboration, says the report, was discussed during the visit by a high-level Malaysian delegation to Bangalore this month.

The final form would take shape when a Sami team visits Malaysia soon, Dr Muhammad said, adding that this would be the beginning of an "era of alliances" for the group.