From trading rubber, the Gohs' business evolved into exporting contraceptives. Their move up the value chain mirrors Malaysia's as it seeks to shift from an agricultural base into more lucrative industries, ranging from latex medical gloves to petrochemicals, as part of a strategic move to escape what economists call the middle-income trap.
"When we got into condoms, it was pretty much a dirty word," Goh, executive director at Karex, said in a Nov 12 interview. "Today, things have changed. Asia is going to create a lot of demand because our population is very young."
The Selangor-based company, which supplies the United Nations and markets including Brazil, the U.S. and China, is seeking funds through a share sale to double annual production capacity to six billion pieces, Goh said. The Southeast Asian country is the world’s biggest condom producer, according to the Malaysian Rubber Board.
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