Diversifying into marble production from rice-milling-based business was obviously the right choice for Cahaya Piramid (M) Sdn Bhd when it clinched a deal to form a joint venture with a China company to supply marble during the recent trade and investment mission to China and Hong Kong.
Cahaya Piramid's chief executive chairman, Datuk Dr Ilias Husain, said the marble would be processed into building materials and handicrafts among others and exported worldwide.
He described the joint venture with Weifang Stone Ltd as strategic as the Chinese company already has a manufacturing plant and ready markets in the US, Europe, Spain and Japan.
They are involved in the production of stones and as marble is also a kind of stone, we decided to merge with the company and take advantage of its skills and global market.
"The company would provide the raw materials and the processed marble could be exported to countries where Weifang already has the markets," he told Bernama in Hong Kong recently.
Ilias, who was one of the 80-member trade and investment delegation to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong from May 24 to 31, said some US$2 million (US$1=RM3.60) would be invested in the company to be called Ilwei Stone Co Ltd.
Cahaya Piramid will hold 51 per cent stake in the company.
Ilias said China also has a big marble industry and manufacturing plants and Cahaya Piramid, which would start processing the marble at Bukit Botak, Gua Musang, Kelantan within two months, could also supply marble to them.
Apart from this, the processed marble could also be sold back to Malaysia.
"Malaysia has good quality marble which has attracted a lot of interests from overseas," he said.
The mission, led by Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, aimed to seek business opportunities and networking. It was organised by Malaysia External Trade Development Corp.
It comprised government officials, chief executives of leading corporations and members of the private sector.