Boost for local and regional goods

(From third right) Saifuddin, Hwang and Abdul Halim trying out a local coffee product during the launch at the Sunshine Central Warehouse in Bayan Lepas, Penang.

RETAILER Sunshine has set up an Asean Product Trade Centre (APTC) in Penang to boost the export of Malaysian and regional goods.

Located at the Sunshine Central Warehouse in Bayan Lepas, its main aim is to tap into the vast market offered by countries like China.

Potential buyers from overseas will get to see the vast range of products available from various local manufacturers and companies.

Speaking at its launch, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail believes it is a good platform for local businesses to expand their reach beyond national borders.

“As a showcase of the best products that Malaysia has to offer, the APTC is a one-stop sourcing centre for foreign traders keen on importing Malaysian-made items,” he said during a recent ceremony.

He was accompanied by Sunshine Wholesale Mart Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Cynthia Hwang, state local and international trade, consumer affairs and entrepreneurship development committee chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain and other officials in touring the exhibition area.

Hwang said the APTC was set up following a fruitful business visit by group representatives, Saifuddin and his team, to China in February this year.

Besides generating good sales figures, the visit also saw the delegation visiting retailers and trade partners there and learning from successful practices.

She also announced the setting up of a lot at the Hongqiao Perennial Bonded Exhibition and Trading Centre in Shanghai, located just seven minutes from the airport, 1km to the city’s central business district and 1.5km from its railway station.

Set to be in operation by September, the space is expected to showcase over 2,000 SKUs (stock-keeping units) from around 250 partners.

Currently on board are some 120 Malaysian companies, as well as around 40 from Thailand and 30 from Indonesia.

“We strongly believe our presence in this exhibition centre will create awareness of Malaysian products and increase export business opportunities.

“We are committed to being there for at least one year. There are opportunities for local retailers in China to promote our products in Shanghai.

“I also strongly believe there is potential for business to expand from Shanghai to the whole of China through online and business-to-business (B2B) platforms,” she added.

Saifuddin also urged local businesses, especially small-and-medium industries that manufacture good quality products but lack experience in marketing channels, to take advantage of opportunities like this.

Also present at the launch were state Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority director Dr Habibah Sulaiman, Consul from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Penang Bai Jian Wen, and Suiwah Corporation Bhd managing director Datuk Hwang Thean Long.

Manufacturers or companies keen to work with Sunshine can contact its International Trade Department at 016-418 1186 (Lilian Kee) or 012-402 9211 (Ang Li Li).

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