Chinese eyeing Malaysian durian and coffee

Durian, coffee and bird’s nest – those are the three most popular Malaysian products that the Chinese are eyeing.

Other products well received during the Food, Hotel, Catering China expo at the Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre were confectioneries, food sauces and pastes.

In revealing this, International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said a total of 40 Malaysian companies managed to rake in sales worth nearly RM125 million (US$28,391,264).

“This sales figure is not possible to achieve back home,” he said after launching the “Malaysia in Shanghai” event here yesterday.

“Malaysian entrepreneurs enjoyed the success within just three days of the expo.”

Ong said last year, Malaysia exported RM1.5 billion (US$3,40,887,720) food and beverage items to China.

Among them, RM253 million (US$57,470,407) were coffee and coffee-based products and RM23.5 million (US$5,338,160) durian and durian-based products.

He said Malaysian companies had vast potential to grow in China and that plans were in the pipeline to bring Malaysian products further into interior areas.

“In the past, we tapped the market of coastal cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou but now, we are looking at Chengdu, Henan and Wuhan,” he said.

At a briefing session on investment opportunities in Malaysia, Ong told potential investors that Malaysia had successfully transformed from agriculture-based to an industrial-based nation.

“Malaysia is a good place to invest. We are peaceful, stable and enjoy a sustainable growth,” he told over 500 Chinese entrepreneurs.

Ong said Malaysia’s total exports to China in the first eight months of this year were at RM58.93 billion (US$13,385,524,472).

Among the products, RM25.45 billion (US$5,783,728,316) were electronic and electrical items, followed by petroleum products (RM4.7 billion, or US$1,065,709,725) and palm oil and palm oil-based products (RM3.13 billion, or US$7,09,717,328).

On the month-long programme, he said it was to promote Malaysia as a trade, investment, tourism and business destination.

Among the highlights are Taste of Malaysia food promotion, launch of Malaysia Online Sales to tap into the world’s largest e-commerce market of China, a business forum and a business matchmaking session to introduce over 90 Malaysian companies from various sectors including lifestyle, health and professional services to the Chinese and international sourcing houses.

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