VIENTIANE, Sept 16 (Bernama) -- Freight forwarder CCI Logistics Sdn Bhd is keen to help Laos develop its logistics infrastructure by setting up a hub possibly in Thailand to facilitate documentation on merchandise trade and services to and from the land-locked country.

Encik Zahrol Ahmad, CCI's director, said this means all shipment to Laos would going through Thailand, for proper documentation check up and cargo handling.

He said although Laos was also a neighbour to Vietnam, it was impossible to set up the logistics hub in Haiphong Port in Vietnam as labour and transportation costs were expensive.

"A few banks here have face problems when it comes to logistics," he told Bernama after business matching meetings here recently between Malaysian entrepreneurs and Laotian business and government officials.

The business matching was part of the 26-member trade and investment mission being mounted by Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz to Laos and Thailand from Sept 14-19.

About 258 companies, including 14 Malaysian firms, took part in the business matching meetings organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade).

"I have to do some paperwork (to set up the hub) and we will wait for the Laotian companies to come back with some proposals on areas such as control of documentation, customs clearance and professional freight forwarding operations in Laos," he said.

As the plan needs to be approved by the Laotian government, a proper proposal have to be put on the table and this would take a longer time to be realised, said Zahrol.

If this plan materialises, CCI, together with a Laotian partner, would handle all the logistics documentation and provide entry to logistics services to Laotian and foreign companies that need cargo handling to Laos.

Currently, CCI offers services like forwarding, shipping agent, project cargo management and handling, heavy haulage handling, logistics consultant, consolidation services, inland trucking services, warehousing & distribution, packing and crating services, fumigation arrangement, import & export trading activities and general & marine insurance.

"Currently, 60 percent of our revenue comes from international business, mostly from South Korea and United States. Last year, we made about RM15-16 million in revenue," he said.

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