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KOTA KINABALU: BIMP-Eaga Business Council (BEBC) Malaysia and Reefer Filipinas inked a partnership that is expected to increase trade volume and develop Sabah as a hub for shipping activities.

Under the new private initiative BEBC Malaysia and Reefer Filipinas will work together in consolidating cargo interests and facilitating a freer and more efficient movement of goods.

The signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to mark the formalisation of the partnership was held at Hilton Hotel here Thursday.

The MoU signing ceremony was a culmination of the three-day BIMP-Eaga Strategic Partnership Meeting.

Roselan (seated left) and Ishizuka (seated right) exchanging documents witnessed by the various BEBC chairmen. SNT Pix/Credit BEBC Malaysia

Representing BEBC Malaysia was its chairman, Datuk Haji Roselan Johar Mohamed, while Felix Ishizuka signed on behalf of Reefer Filipinas.

Reefer Filipinas has developed a trade route that included calls in two Sabah ports namely  Sepanggar Bay Container Port and Labuan, and connecting them to Davao, Bitung, Muara and Singapore

With the capacity to hold dry and reefer goods, the dedicated BIMP-Eaga direct-to-market service with fast transit time is expected to spur trade and investment in the region. 

Under the present plan, the route is completed in 13 days round voyage.

This would ensure service of at least twice a month, which is shorter than the current available route from commercial container lines servicing Davao-Gensan-Bitung connection with three to five weeks transit time.

Earlier, BEBC Malaysia has secured the approval for the trade route from the transport and agri-business clusters of the BIMP-Eaga ministers.-SabahNewsToday