PEKAN: The Government will help entice investors to venture into the production and marketing of local handicraft, Entrepreneur Development Ministry secretary-general Datuk Zakiah Hashim said.
She said road shows showcasing handicraft products would be held nationwide to gain the interest of businessmen in producing and marketing them on a wider scale.
Zakiah said it would be a waste for local talents to produce good quality kain tenun, songket (cloth with gold or silver embroidery) or wood-based craft if its marketing campaign was not up to expectations.
Local handicraft products are superb in design, quality and reasonably priced. The Government has given its fullest co-operation to ensure a good supply of local handicraft. However, we urge the private sectors to come forward to invest in the industry.
The involvement of the private sector in the industry can help provide income for the people, especially the youth and fishermen who cannot go to sea during the monsoon season, Zakiah told reporters after inspecting the production of kain tenun Pahang at several handicraft workshops including the one at the State Handicraft Centre in Kuantan, Kampung Pulau Keladi, Kampung Sungai Soi and a workshop making tikar mengkuang (pandanus mats) at Kampung Cherating on Saturday.
Also present were Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation deputy director-general Abdullah Abdul Rahman, Pahang Kraf Development Centre director Mohd Zubair Mohd Zain, Pahang Development Corporation chief (PKNP) executive officer Lias Mohd Nor and his deputy Abdul Rahim Mohd Ali.
Zakiah said the ministry had organised several exhibitions on local handicraft, adding that visitors had expressed great interest in the products.
She said the production of handicraft items had increased with the use of modern machinery.
However, marketing of these products is still poor. We need the participation of major investors to ensure that our local handicraft can be marketed in a big way, she said.
Zakiah said the handicapped would also be trained to make local handicraft to help them earn money.
We also plan to help the handicraft industry produce kain pelikat or sarongs. We find that the majority of the sarongs are imported from Indonesia or India, she added.
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