Asia Plantation Capital Berhad confirms regulatory approval

Asia Plantation Capital Berhad is proud to be the first company in Malaysia (and indeed the Asian market) to receive regulatory approval for its agarwood plantation investment programme.

After initial approval in August 2016, Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) - the Companies Commission of Malaysia - has officially confirmed the final approval for the company to market its agarwood plantation investment programme both in Malaysia and on the international market, thereby establishing Asia Plantation Capital as the preeminent plantation management company in the region.

SSM is a statutory body in Malaysia that regulates companies and businesses, and is the country’s leading authority for the improvement of corporate governance, and compliance with businesses registration and corporate legislation. As an enforcement body, SSM lays down stringent guidelines, all of which have been met by Asia Plantation Capital for its plantation project in Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia.

“We are very proud and honoured to be the first company in Asia to have been given official regulatory approval for our vertically integrated agarwood plantation investments,” said Steve Watts, CEO, Asia Plantation Capital Berhad, “as we firmly believe that the industry as a whole needs comprehensive regulation. The Asia Plantation Capital Group has always led the way in promoting a regulated agarwood industry in Asia.

It’s taken a lot of hard work from our respective teams to ensure that our business model, at all stages of the process, is transparent, ethical, and meets the standards set by the SSM and our independent consultant. While this is a significant milestone for us as a company,” Watts concluded, “we believe that all companies operating in the plantation investment sector in Asia should be regulated in this manner, not only for good corporate governance, but also for the protection of investors. As far as we’re concerned, it’s absolutely essential that the two go hand in hand.”

The agarwood plantation industry is growing at an exponential rate in Asia, and Asia Plantation Capital, with its ground-breaking and award-winning ‘soil to oil’ vertically integrated business model, is now the largest company in the region.

The company has its own plantations, along with those it manages for private and institutional clients, as well as its own factories now producing a myriad of end products utilising the Oud that is produced from its agarwood trees. Asia Plantation Capital’s proprietary inoculation and distillation systems have set new industry standards, and firmly established the company at the forefront of the sector.

There have been breakthroughs recently in the anti-ageing consumer sector, and this is expected to greatly increase the demand for Oud in the pharmaceutical and skincare industries. Asia Plantation Capital is also at the cutting edge of a burgeoning body of scientific research into the effectiveness of Oud in the treatment of various forms of cancer. Credit goes to its Scientific Advisory Board, which is comprised of leading academics and industry experts.

The current global market for pure Oud, Oud oils and wood chips is estimated to be US$12 billion per year, and this value is augmented by the US$40 billion per annum fragrance industry. The demand for sustainable supplies of pure Oud is surging, and, as it takes between seven and 15 years for plantations to yield commercial supplies, it comes as no surprise to see a dramatic increase in the number of companies offering investment and plantation management services.

Experience and expertise, however, count for a great deal in the plantation sector, and Asia Plantation Capital has already proven itself to be an industry leader due to its ability to innovate and its recognition of the need for proprietary technologies.

After extensive research, Asia Plantation Capital has established that only pure, natural Oud contains the compounds that have now been scientifically proven to be effective in the treatment of cancer and anti-ageing. This in turn has led to an increase in demand for the ‘real thing’, and an attendant increase in the need and demand for sustainable plantations.

The international cosmetics and skincare industry alone is worth an estimated US$460 billion per annum (according to 2014 figures), with the global skincare industry alone estimated by statista.com to be in the region of US$121 for 2016. This has encouraged Asia Plantation Capital to form collaborations with highly-regarded Swiss skincare laboratories to create a new range of Oud-based active ingredients for the ever-expanding industry.

Asia Plantation Capital and its group of associated companies are not to the only ones to have perceived the potential in a growing market, and this has driven the imperative to ensure that tight regulations are in place and adhered to, conforming to the relevant values of transparency and sustainability. It couldn’t be more timely, therefore, for Asia Plantation Capital’s agarwood investment programmes to receive the seal of approval from the Companies Commission of Malaysia, the country’s principal corporate regulator.

“We are very pleased that Asia Plantation Capital has met the very stringent regulatory standards imposed by the Companies Commission of Malaysia,” said CT Choo, Asia Plantation Capital’s legal counsel in Malaysia. “The regulator has been very positive in responding to Asia Plantation Capital’s application, which is regarded as a fine example of the type of cutting-edge agroforestry sector development programme that Malaysia wants to encourage.

We believe that all companies operating in this sector should be regulated, not only to protect investors, but also to ensure that only sustainable supplies of Oud enter the supply chain. The harvesting of wild agarwood trees was banned by CITES* in 2000, and the Aquilaria tree, from which agarwood is derived, is still an endangered species in the wild, with many companies and individuals still exploiting this illegal and unethical side of the industry.

Asia Plantation Capital has set the right tone not only in seeking regulatory approval, but in proving that it has the systems and corporate infrastructure in place with which to meet all the requirements for obtaining it.”

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