KOTA KINABALU April 18, 2012: Sabah’s unique products have the potential to be marketed in China.
In fact, Sabah’s produce such as honey, Sabah Tea, seafood and bird nests have penetrated into the China market, and demands are reported to be high.
Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) Business Services, Building Materials/China, Hong Kong and Macau Section director, Ong Yew Chee, in disclosing this, said this was evidenced by the response from traders and individuals from the country during the 8th China-ASEAN Expo, or CAEXPO in short, towards the products promoted by some 10 Sabah companies taking part in the event last year.
“Even the representatives from the Sabah companies were surprised with the response to their products. For instance, a company that produces honey, many came and bought its product in boxes and some even ordered in bulk,” said Ong, adding that China was listed as Malaysia’s largest export market for the first time recently.
Expecting better participation from the Sabah companies in the 9th CAEXPO this year, Ong advised those interested to register early to prevent disappointment before the closing date on June 1. The registration fee is RM2,000 per-booth.
Describing CAEXPO as the best platform for Malaysian companies to promote their products for China market, Ong explained that the yearly held expo at Nanning, Guangxi, China, is scheduled to be held for five days beginning Sept 21.
The China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) will also be organising it simultaneously.
“CAEXPO is organised annually since 2004 with the objective of promoting the building of the Chine-ASEA Free Trade Area. It is highly credited as an effective platform to promote the co-operation between China and ASEAN in the fields of trade, investment and tourism,” he explained.
Last year, a total of 146 Malaysian exhibitors took part in the event, with total sales recorded at RM201.89 million and a total of 9,598 business enquiries received.
Malaysia’s participation in CAEXPO aimed is at promoting the country’s exports of products and services to the China market and other ASEAN countries, taking advantage of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
It also aims to present the country as a leading trading nation in ASEAN with rich natural resources, strong economic fundamentals and a pro-business government.
“This year Matrade is targetting to bring over 100 Malaysian companies and the focused sectors are food and beverages, health and wellness, lifestyle (including furniture), green products, new technologies and services,” said Ong during their series of seminars on CAEXPO here, yesterday.
They are expected to be meeting with traders in Kuching today before moving to Kuala Terengganu for a similar programme.
He added that products and services, especially education, franchise, healtcare and environmental-based items are gaining popularity in China.
“Through CAEXPO, Malaysia was able to promote its white coffee which is now widely sold in supermarkets in China, and even the Nelson franchise, which offers corn in cup, is now a household name in Nanning,” he explained.
Touching on CAFTA, he said Matrade was pushing for zero tariff for the 10 per cent commodities, which have been listed as highly sensitive products, which among others include iron, ceramics and automotive, to mention some.
“On Jan 1, 2010, China launched zero tariff programme upon over 90 per cent of ASEAN commodities, cutting the average tariff rate from 9.8 per cent to 0.1 per cent, thus offering lower imports and exports costs.
Meanwhile, CAEXPO Secretariat’s vice secretary general, Wang Lei, disclosed that the China-Malaysia bilateral trade volume tripled in the last seven years from USD26.23 billion in 2004 to USD90.3nbillion last year.
“CAEXPO is the best springboard for ASEAN traders to reach to China market,” he said.