KOTA KINABALU: Plans are afoot for Sabah to target global market ventures via a collaboration with AirAsia, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (pic).
“Anything that helps boost Sabah’s exports will be supported,” the state Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry Minister said after a recent meeting with an AirAsia team led by its chief executive officer Riad Asmat.
Kitingan said AirAsia’s cold chain technology could revolutionise how Sabah’s products were seen globally.
“I am particularly enthused about AirAsia’s efforts to export Tambunan ginger powder to China,” he added.
(The airline is in the planning stages of exporting Tambunan ginger powder to China, packaged in tea bags.)
“Sabah’s agricultural sector has immense untapped potential.
“This venture could be a catalyst that propels us onto the international stage.
“This is the kind of multi-stakeholder engagement that we need,” he said.
Kitingan said AirAsia could serve as a significant ally in the state government’s mission to boost Sabah’s export capabilities.
At the meeting, Riad reportedly presented an overview of AirAsia’s ecosystem, with a particular focus on its specialised ventures: GTR, Teleport and AirAsia Grocer.
These ventures, he said, played a key role in exporting Sabah’s fresh products such as vegetables and seafood to Peninsular Malaysia and international markets, including China and Hong Kong.
Among the initiatives discussed was AirAsia Grocer’s recent adoption of cold chain technology, centred on a new cold room facility in Inanam near here, aimed at ensuring that products from Sabah reach their destinations in optimal condition.