Malaysia is realizing the importance of biotechnology and for that purpose it has allocated a sum of around RM210 million in its budget for developing its biotechnology sector. Malaysia has plans to acquire technology through the Biotech Acquisition Programme with a grant of RM60 million. Under the Biotechnology Commercialization Fund, commercialization of R&D findings would be undertaken by international corporations and companies. Along with that around RM59 million have been allocated under the R&D for production of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products, genomics and molecular biology and promotion of agro-biotechnology activities. The government is also planning to set up Bio Innovation Centre in order to offer site facilities and equipment for new companies in order to undertake bio-manufacturing activities and commercialization. Some of the other incentives which the Malaysian government would be offering are: First: bionexus companies be given income tax exemption for 10 years, beginning from the first year the company is profitable. Second: after the expiry of the 10-year exemption period, a bionexus company will be taxed at a concessionary rate of 20 per cent for another 10 years. Third: tax deduction equivalent to the amount of investment made in seed capital and early stage financing be given to companies or individuals investing in bionexus companies. Fourth: stamp duty and real property gains tax exemptions be given to a bionexus company undertaking merger with or acquisition of a biotechnology company, within a period of five years. Fifth: buildings for research activities related to biotechnology be given Accelerated Industrial Building Allowance, whereby the cost of constructing or acquiring the building is written off over a period of 10 years.
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Malaysia has realized the importance of biotechnology and in order to realize its dreams is roping in two Bay Area partners to become a biotechnology center. It is trying to emulate Singapore which has been quite successful in this area. In order to make it possible the country is in the process of launching $200 million venture capital fund which would be co-managed by Burrill &Co. and Malaysian Technology Development Corporation. It seems that the whole of Asia is gearing up to do something in the field of biotechnology.