NANNING, 19 SEPTEMBER 2023: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), in close collaboration with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) is leveraging on the China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) platform to facilitate the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) entrepreneurs’ entry into the lucrative China market.

“CAEXPO provides entrepreneurs from Malaysia an opportunity to penetrate international markets. This is where ECERDC, via our collaboration with SIRIM, Maybank and Agrobank, play our role in ensuring ECER entrepreneurs are able to increase their productivity to be successful. ECERDC also facilitated the shipment of the participating entrepreneurs’ products to Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Guangxi, China,” said ECERDC’s Chief Executive Officer YBhg. Dato’ Baidzawi Che Mat.

The Malaysia Pavilion at CAEXPO was launched by Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim on 17 September. After the launch, YAB Prime Minister visited the entrepreneurs’ booths accompanied by Minister of Local Government Development YB Tuan Nga Kor Ming and Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security YB Tuan Chan Foong Hin.

This year, a total of 9 companies from ECER are participating in the CAEXPO exhibition. Amongst the products showcased are fish crackers, cooking sauces, cookies, virgin coconut oil, spice blends and frozen pastries. Since 2015, a total of 30 companies have participated in the exhibition, who have achieved various levels of success with total export amounting to more than RM12.5 million. This year’s event is going to be the first physical CAEXPO since 2019. During the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2022, the event was organised virtually.

Among the requirements for the participating companies include having SME status with annual sales of more than RM600,00, the companies already have the facilities to produce their own products and have the capability to expand and be ready for export and their products have already penetrated local market and are sold at the local supermarkets.

“ECERDC’s objective in participating in CAEXPO is to explore China market and to allow entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in this vast market through direct approach to potential importers via business matching organised by MATRADE during the event as well as strengthen previous ties with China market especially entrepreneurs who had previously participated in virtual meetings. We hope that via CAEXPO, our entrepreneurs can further expand their market from national level to international market and promote the ECER brand internationally. This will also give the ECER entrepreneurs a chance to gain access to China’s large Muslim population with halal products,” said YBhg. Dato’ Ragu Sampasivam, Chief Operating Officer of ECERDC who leads the delegation to CAEXPO Nanning.

“I am happy that our company is able to participate for the second time. We had gained a lot of knowledge and exposure when we last participated in 2017 and we hope to be able to secure orders from potential buyers and importers in China this time,” said Ahmad Aslam Muhammad, MH Mohd Industries Sdn. Bhd.’s Factory Engineering and Technical Manager.

In addition to the showcase by the entrepreneurs, ECERDC also leverages on the concentration of investors congregating in Nanning during CAEXPO to promote investment opportunities in ECER, where ECERDC participated and presented to more than 250 audiences in the First China ASEAN Twin Parks Forum, in the CAEXPO ASEAN Industrial Park Forum and the China ASEAN Port City Networking Forum as well. Prior to attending the 20th CAEXPO in Nanning, ECERDC also took the opportunity to visit investors in Zhaoqing, Guangdong as part of ECERDC’s ongoing effort to promote investment opportunities in ECER to investors in China, which is the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for ECER.

While in Nanning, in an effort to secure new investments, ECERDC also took the opportunity to visit potential investors including Guangxi Investment Group and Guangxi Bossco Environmental Protection Technology Co., Ltd. in Guangxi further to their visit to ECER earlier.

CAEXPO is one of the largest trade events in China held annually since 2004. The expo serves as a platform for Small Medium Entrepreneurs (SME) from ASEAN countries, including ECER entrepreneurs, to link and establish network in China.

CAEXPO visitors comprise of China’s vast business and local communities as well as other foreign consumers who are interested to source for ASEAN products and explore the in-depth market opportunities in ASEAN.