Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tourism Ministry to give Incentives for health centres

The Tourism Ministry will be proposing a list of incentives to the Cabinet to attract foreign companies to invest in alternative medicine clinics and wellness centres in the country.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said his ministry had had discussions with hospitals and clinics in Switzerland, Russia, China and the United States about opening up clinics in Port Dickson, where a 61sq kilometre area had been allocated for the purpose.

“They would like to open a centre here to service the Asian region because at the moment people are travelling all the way to Europe and Russia to get treatment.

Preparing for the launch: A worker cleaning up the Tourism Malaysia booth at the Arabian Travel Mart in Dubai on April 30 before its launch on Tuesday. — Bernama
“They are also looking at Thailand and Singapore and are waiting to see what kind of incentives we will give them,” he said at the Arabian Travel Market here on Tuesday, where Malaysia is one of the key exhibitors.

The Malaysian delegation has more than 130 participants from 81 organisations, including hotels, travel agents, airlines, tourism boards and state governments.

Tengku Adnan said the incentives his ministry would be proposing to the Cabinet would include giving entrepreneurs tax holidays and smoothening the process of bringing in equipment and items to the country.

He said Port Dickson was chosen due to its strategic location.

“It is near Sepang and KLIA, making it very accessible. Also, the common belief is that the salty sea air works wonders in speeding up the healing process.

“Port Dickson’s existing infrastructure, with its numerous hotels and resorts, was another key factor in choosing the location,” he added.

Besides alternative medicine and traditional medicine like acupuncture, ayurveda and traditional Malay remedies, other forms of medical practitioners like plastic surgeons and dental surgeons would also be invited to invest in the programme.

“We have spoken to a number of dental clinics that do surgery and implants and they are quite keen to open centres in Malaysia as the cost is only about one-third of that in Europe,” he said.

Source : STAR
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