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KOTA BHARU, NOVEMBER 8: entrepreneur ECER, an entrepreneurship development programme implemented by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), has achieved commendable results, with one of its participants, Mitra Food Industries Sdn Bhd, signing an MOU today with China’s Zhuolun (Nanning Guangxi) Co. Ltd. to export its coffee products worth RM3 million to China.
Based in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Mitra Food Industries is the manufacturer of the “Musang King” Durian Coffee, Cappuccino and White Coffee. It has secured a one-year contract to supply its products to Zhuolun (Nanning Guangxi) Co. Ltd that is based in Nanning.
Mitra Food Industries is one of 53 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kelantan that participated in the entrepreneur ECER programme conducted by ECERDC in collaboration with SIRIM. The programme strives to improve the business prospects and sustainability of participants, thus creating a larger pool of successful entrepreneurs in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), especially among SMEs. The programme’s goal is in line with that of the Government’s Transformation Programme (GTP) and Malaysia’s vision of achieving a high income nation status by 2020.
The MOU was signed by the Managing Director of Mitra Food Industries, Roslaimi Arifin, while Zhuolun (Nanning Guangxi) Co. Ltd was represented by its Director, Xie Xiaoyu. The ceremony was witnessed by the Kelantan Menteri Besar, YAB Ustaz Dato’ Haji Ahmad Bin Yacob and ECERDC CEO, YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John.
The entrepreneur ECER-SIRIM targets companies involved in food manufacturing. The programme offers participants guidance and training in product development, labeling and branding, halal certification, financial & business management and marketing.
Among others, the training modules cover subjects such as packaging and product design, information on nutritional facts, quality control, promotion in international markets, applications for GMP/HACCP and ISO certification, factory management systems, process optimisation and market expansion.
Mitra Food Industries is one of the six SMEs sponsored by ECERDC to showcase their halal products at the 12th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) held in Nanning, China from 18 to 21 September 2015.
Companies selected to attend CAEXPO had to fulfill stringent criteria set by ECERDC and MATRADE. The criteria included product compliance with Malaysia’s and international food product standards as well as branding and packaging. All six ECER companies at CAEXPO 2015 had achieved Halal-certification by Jakim that is recognised worldwide.
Besides Mitra Food Industries, MH Mohd Industries Sdn Bhd is another SME from Kelantan selected for CAEXPO 2015. Based in Tumpat, MH Mohd Industries produces black pepper sauce, chili sauce and soy sauce, and is currently in negotiations to export its products to China.
“ECERDC is proud to showcase these ECER entrepreneurs, including those from Kelantan who are now recognised internationally as a result of their participation in the entrepreneur ECER programme conducted by us in collaboration with SIRIM,” said ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John.
“It is a testament that entrepreneur ECER has helped SMEs not only in terms of product development but also to establish sustainable businesses that are able to penetrate international markets. It shows that SMEs in ECER can thrive not only in domestically but also internationally, and contribute towards the economy,” he added.
Datuk Seri Issace said that based on the positive response to ECER entrepreneurs at CAEXPO 2015, ECERDC intends to showcase more entrepreneurs from the region at the 2016 CAEXPO to be held in China.
Apart from SIRIM, ECERDC also implements the entrepreneur ECER programme with Agrobank and Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank). Overall, entrepreneur ECER has benefitted more than 2,000 entrepreneurs in ECER, of which 617 were from Kelantan. These companies currently earn an average monthly income that ranges between RM5,000 and RM300,000, or more.
“Our participation in CAEXPO 2015 that was made possible by ECERDC has given us the opportunity to promote our range of coffee products and establish trade links with importers from countries participating in CAEXPO this year,” said Managing Director of Mitra Food Industries, Roslaimi Arifin.
“The MOU signed today is proof that Kelantan SMEs can compete internationally, especially in the China market that has a huge potential,” he said.
“Through the entrepreneur ECER programme in collaboration with SIRIM, our company has benefitted not only in terms of brand and product quality, but also in terms of international market expansion through promotional activities such as CAEXPO 2015,” he added.