Working Visit of His Excellency Lee Chi Beom, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Malaysia, to Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, 8th June 2022

The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Malaysia, His Excellency Lee Chi Beom made an official visit to the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre on the 8th June 2022 as part of his regional visit to Sarawak.

His Excellency was accompanied by the Minister Councillors, Mr Lee Kyoung Dock and Yoo Kwangyul, embassy’s delegates, Korean Chamber of Commerce Malaysia Chairman, Mr Baek Seung Ryul and his colleagues, as well as other key corporate associates of the embassy. The delegates were welcomed by Datu Kameri Haji Affandi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development and Dr Yeo Tiong Chia, Chief Executive Officer, SBC.

The purpose of the visit is to explore new areas of cooperation, particularly in bioresearch and bioproduct development. During the visit, His Excellency and the delegates were briefed on SBC’s roles and functions to drive the growth of bioindustries in Sarawak. His Excellency also witnessed the proof-of-concept algae production facility at SBC that was used to inform the construction of a 5Ha facility at Sejingkat. The tour around SBC highlights specific biodiversity discoveries that will be commercialized.

His Excellency and delegates were given insights and framework of a project the LitSara® Access and Benefit Sharing project, covering the projects’ initial establishments, communities’ engagement, and the social impacts the projects have had on the communities’ livelihood, skills and knowledge.

During his speech, His Excellency emphasised that developing countries to work together with developed countries especially in communities’ engagement and sharing of benefits with the communities. He added that there will be huge opportunities for Korean companies to collaborate with Sarawak in terms of biodiversity related projects within the bioindustry sector. He shared that they have learned valuable knowledge about biodiversity in Sarawak during the trip to Semenggoh.

To commemorate his visit, His Excellency planted a Diospyros cauliflora tree also known as Surang Bai by the Bidayuh community of Sarawak. The Borneo native tree can grow up to 60-feet high and produces bright yellow fruits. Some research has shown that the edible sweet fruit contains phytochemical that exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer bioactivities.


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