LONDON (May 13): In the quest to spur new export opportunities for Sabah small and medium enterprise (SME) products in the international market, Global Entrepreneur One Stop Centre (Glopec) has signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to form collaborations with several strategic partners for the United Kingdom (UK) and other European markets.
The signing of the MoUs between Glopec and nine parties, ranging from restaurateurs, wholesalers, distributors to online retailers, in key areas here on Thursday was aimed at marketing made-in Sabah products to the UK, France, and other European countries.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad, who led a Promotion and Selling Mission of Bumiputera Sabah products to the UK from May 9-16, witnessed the signing of the MoUs, by Zaiton Bakri, general manager of Kristal Handal Sdn Bhd on behalf of the company, which is a subsidiary of Yayasan Sabah Group, which oversees Glopec.
Present were Malaysia High Commissioner to the UK Zakri Jaafar and director of Yayasan Sabah and executive chairman of Innoprise Corporation Sdn Bhd (ICSB) Datuk Sri Ghulam Haidar @ Yusof Khan Bahadar, Glopec director Azmi Aziz, and Teraju chief executive officer Md Silmi Abdul Rahman.
The MoUs were inked with Jimmy Chong Ghee Chua, who represented Chuang Lee Supermarket; Pui Chin Yap @ Sarah Yap (Makan House Limited @ Uncle Lim Kitchen); Wan Joha Wan Ahmad (Malaysian Supermarket Ltd); Simon K Suresh (Oh Malaysia/Halal Street UK Limited); Yoke Ng (Yi International); Datuk Uthama Kumara Naidu Sanjay (Aditya & Co); Swee Leong Goh (Nepcoe Capital Partners); Ku Farid Ku Yasin (KMF MalaysiaWe); and Paul Fritz on behalf of Premium Company Farm Food Limited.
Funded by the the Bumiputera Entrepreneur Development Fund (DPUB) programme and established through a strategic partnership between Yayasan Sabah Group and the Bumiputera Affirmative Action Unit under the Prime Minister’s Department (Teraju) in 2020, Glopec is one of the collaborative programme efforts which aims at assisting Sabah Bumiputera entrepreneurs, especially those from the B40 and M40 groups, through the marketing of local products to the international market.
Glopec serves as the contact point that engages with all business-related agencies and governing bodies in the targeted markets, as well as suppliers and buyers to disseminate verified information and business opportunities related to the participating Sabah SMEs.
It also provides training courses for SMEs to provide insights into the global business climate, marketing, promotion and publicity campaigns, and participation in promotion fairs.
Speaking to the Malaysian media here, Dr Abdul Latiff said the government is committed to supporting the revival of businesses after the global economic disruptions caused by Covid-19.
“Through the MoUs, the ministry will work with Teraju to facilitate and assist Glopec to continue their marketing and trading efforts and secure international business opportunities as travel restrictions are being lifted and re-opening of international borders,” he said.
He said retailing was an economic sector endowed with a great potential with food products that could be highlighted and promoted through a network of restaurant operators, especially those owned by Malaysians abroad to penetrate the international market.
For a start, he said Teraju could start the initiative by purchasing the products of food product operators in small and medium industries, as well as community-based products and implementing marketing through strategic partnerships with restaurant operators, wholesalers and retailers, as well as complying with food product compliance standards in the UK and the European Union.
Meanwhile, Zaiton said the Glopec programme would be a platform for Sabah SME entrepreneurs to market Sabah products such as potato chips, chilli sauce, sambal bilis (anchovy sauce), and ethnic handicraft such as ‘Batik Bayu’ and rattan to the international market, particularly in the UK, European countries, China, Thailand, and Middle Eastern countries.
Besides complying with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and halal regulations and certification, he said Sabah’s product operators would work with wholesalers and retailers and strategic business partners overseas.
Currently, Glopec has 15 entrepreneurs and aims to market products worth RM60 million within the next five years.
At the signing ceremony of the MoUs, Dr Abdul Latif also launched the “Taste of Sabah” campaign which saw Sabah’s SME products being arrayed in well-known restaurants in London. — Bernama