Far East digest

Japan joins Oman in setting up food and agribusiness fund

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Japan joins Oman in setting up food and agribusiness fund

Related tags: Milk

Japanese institutions will join Oman’s biggest sovereign wealth fund in setting up a joint US$400m fund to invest in food and agribusiness.

The fund will allow Japanese companies to directly invest in members of the Gulf Cooperation Council in areas that range from grains and feed to vegetables, milk and dairy products. 

Logistics and research will also be covered, with Oman hoping firms will invest at least 35% of the money in the country.

Oman's State General Reserve Fund will own 37.% of the Gulf Japan Food Fund, while Oman National Investments Development Co and Gulf Investment Corp, which owned by all six GCC states, will hold a combined 12.5% share.

Japan's Mizuho Bank and Norinchukin Bank will provide the remaining half of the capital.

The sultanate is trying to diversify its economy beyond oil, using state funds in international ventures that steer investment and technology back to Oman, according to Reuters.

Seoul to can fizzy drink vending machines in official buildings 

South Korea’s capital intends to withdraw fizzy drinks from sale in public buildings from November, according to Seoul Metropolitan Government.


The move to restrict sales from more than 550 vending machines is the first by a city government in the country. It will initially hit 320 machines directly managed by the city government, and will gradually be applied to the others that are managed by private contractors.

"The measure is aimed at preventing obesity caused by excessive sugar intake​," a city official told Korea Times​. "We hope this measure will help deter the habit​."

A 250mm can of soda contains up to 32.8 grammes of sugar, equivalent to 10 spoonfuls of sugar, she added.

The metropolitan government has also called on operators of the Seoul Subway, the world’s biggest, to replace vending machines at stations with others that offer more healthy products.

Probi signs with Seoul Milk to boost Korean presence

Swedish probiotics developer Probi has signed an agreement with Seoul Milk, a member of Seoul Dairy Co-operative, to sell its products on the Korean market. 


Seoul Milk will include Probis’s LP299V probiotic strain in its product range following a planned launch at the end of this year. 

Seoul Dairy Cooperative consists of 1,750 milk farmers and about 1,000 agencies nationwide and is the largest supplier of milk products in Korea with a daily raw milk production of 2,000 tons. 

Seoul Milk supplies raw milk and fruit juices alongside other types of beverages ranging from consumer health to animal care. It also established Korea’s first cold chain system. 

Probi is looking forward to the first launch of a food product containing Probi probiotics in the important and growing Asian region​,” said Peter Nählstedt, chief executive. 

Seoul Milk is a leading dairy company with strong capabilities and position in the dynamic Korean market​.” 

Probi has previously established a position in the Korean market through partners with its dietary supplements products. 

We are increasing our business development activities in functional food and Asia-Pacific, with it’s high consumer acceptance for probiotics, is a very interesting area for expansion​,” said Nählstedt.

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