The operator of China’s Sanya Diving Training Centre, Diving Best, has expressed interest to enter the local tourism industry, as the State is well known in China as an eco and marine-based tourism destination.

According to Sabah Economic Development Investment Authority (Sedia), a meeting with the group from the operator has shown positive outcome.

The State’s investment authority also introduced potential local partners, including the Sipadan Mangrove Resort and the Sabah Urban Development Corporation.

The group was welcomed by Sedia Chief Executive Datuk Dr Mohd Yaakub Johari and subsequently held a briefing here, on Wednesday.

The seven-person delegation was accompanied by a representative of Aigo Entrepreneurs Alliance, an organisation which assists private Chinese firms to promote their business outside of China.

Diving Best, which originated from the Hainan Province in China, has been certified by the Confederation of Mondiale Des Activites Subaquatiques (CMAS), Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and International Scuba diving school (SSI).

They are also known for their collaborations with international hoteliers such as the Ritz Carlton, Hilton, Sheraton, Marriot and China’s Horizon Resort and Spa in opening several tourism-based hotels and resorts in China.

The company’s centres have received over 50 million visitors and is equipped with semi-tropical ocean and beach recreation services, such as scuba diving, reef diving, night diving, professional deep-sea diving and bay diving.

According to Dr Yaakub, for firms interested to invest in the Sabah Development Corridor, Sedia has developed tax incentive packages approved by the Ministry of Finance.

"These incentives include areas of activities in tourism, manufacturing, agriculture and major industries," he said.

Such packages include full tax exemption on statutory income for up to 10 years, investment tax allowance of 100 per cent on qualifying capital expenditures for five years and full exemption on import duty and sales tax, subject to current policy. 

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