ECER ENTREPRENEURS GO GLOBAL
Twenty entrepreneur ECER participants to showcase their brands and products in China

NANNING, CHINA, 10 September 2016: In an initiative to bring local products from the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) to greater heights internationally, 20 Bumiputera entrepreneurs from Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Mersing in Johor have been given the golden opportunity to market their products at the upcoming 13th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO 2016) in Nanning, China between 11 and 14 September 2016.

By expanding their reach to China, one of the world’s largest consumer market, this will bring about a positive impact to the local industry which in turn will boost investment and employment opportunities in the region. The 20 local entrepreneurs were handpicked by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC).

This year, ECERDC will be taking up 21 booths at CAEXPO with the largest number of participants and entrepreneurs, signalling ECERDC’s commitment to develop the region’s local entrepreneurs. The selected entrepreneurs are targeting approximately RM10 million in total export sales from the trade fair.

“Competing and winning in the global marketplace has become very important for entrepreneurs to be truly successful. By encouraging our entrepreneurs to market their brands and products overseas, we are empowering our entrepreneurs through the four stages of our entrepreneur ECER roadmap – micro, small, medium and finally, international. As they expand their businesses and operations globally, these entrepreneurs in turn have created greater wealth and job opportunities domestically for the rakyat in ECER,” said YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John, Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC.

“Our participation in CAEXPO is also to further leverage on our close working relationship with China and as a springboard for these entrepreneurs to obtain global exposure. In 2015, we witnessed encouraging outcome when six out of our nine entrepreneur ECER participants emerged as new exporters following the CAEXPO event, where they cumulatively raked in sales amounting to RM3 million and potential export sales of RM14.6 million annually. Due to remarkable exposure and international opportunity CAEXPO provided, we have increased the number of participating entrepreneurs this year from six to 20 participants,” Datuk Seri Issace added.

CAEXPO is an annual event held in China to promote cooperation and development between China and the rest of the ASEAN countries. The 20 companies joining ECERDC this year underwent a strict selection criteria set by ECERDC, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), SIRIM as well as the Chinese Government, which include compliance with international food product standards as well as branding and packaging.

In fact, some of the participants of CAEXPO 2016, including Mitra Food Industries Sdn. Bhd. and Softa Marketing Sdn. Bhd., had also participated last year. These home-grown companies have successfully secured export contracts worth more than RM5 million in total and entered into strategic partnerships to export their now globally-recognised products. Encouraged by the positive responses in China, the companies were quick to adapt and innovate their products to suit the needs of the strategic partners and taste of the Chinese market.

Encik Roslaimi Bin Ariffin, Managing Director, Mitra Food Industries Sdn. Bhd., buoyed by the successful partnership formed and export sales generated in China from the previous CAEXPO, is enthusiastic to further establish a stronger foothold in China. “The experience gained from the various international trade shows has shown us how essential it is to be resilient, adaptable, and also quick to capitalise on opportunities to turn our business ideas into a reality. In fact, the overwhelming response received from the sales of our Musang King Durian Coffee, Cappucino and White Coffee has allowed us to swiftly expand our operations,” he said after the opening of the Malaysia Pavillion at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Centre (NICEC) by International Trade and Industry Minister II, YB Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan here, today.

Commenting on the opportunity to join the international trade show, Puan Shukuriah Binti Abdul Ghafar, Chief Executive Officer of AdeqSue Resources Sdn. Bhd. famed for its grilled fish paste and three-flavoured sauce said, “We are excited to be able to expand our market on a global platform, especially after many years of hard work. The mentoring and training received via the entrepreneur ECER programme has not only given us access to two central pillars of the entrepreneurial ecosystem – funding and market entry, but also insights on how we can create a sustainable business in the face of a very competitive global market.” Puan Shukuriah shares the same confidence with all participating entrepreneurs that through their exposure in CAEXPO and support from ECERDC, they will be able to drum up new interest and capture new market shares in China.

ECERDC implemented the entrepreneur ECER programme in partnership with SIRIM and Agrobank, an entrepreneurship development programme targeting local entrepreneurs in ECER who wish to grow their business. Under the SIRIM programme, participants are given guidance and training on product quality, labelling and branding, halal certification, financial management and marketing. As funding and capital are key factors in helping entrepreneurs get off the ground, the ECERDC has also formed a strategic partnership with Agrobank to offer participants similar guidance as well as access to financing.

In conjunction with the CAEXPO event, ECERDC will also be promoting investment opportunities and public-private partnerships amongst Chinese investors within the ECER through the Trade and Investment Mission to Nanning. The Malaysian delegation is led by YB Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan, Minister of International Trade and Industry II.