'Promote your products to Chinese tourists'
Published on: Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Given China's rise as an economic powerhouse, we must capitalise on Chinese tourists' purchasing power.Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Christina Liew made the call during a courtesy call by an 11-member delegation from the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC Sabah Branch) led by the President Datuk Frankie C.T. Liew, Monday.

"In this regard, I encourage individual entrepreneurs and businesses to aggressively promote their products.

These must be attractively packaged and reasonably priced to catch their attention.

"And from the Ministry's perspective, we want tour operators to get the tourists to patronise souvenir shops, stores selling ethnic handicraft items and others offering local food products," she said after a fruitful exchange of views with the delegation in terms of promoting bilateral trade between China and Sabah, and wooing Chinese investments for tourism development or growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Sabah.

During the meeting, Frankie deliberated on potential Chinese investments in trade and tourism.

He is optimistic of the prospects of integrated resort development involving Chinese investors and drawing more tourists to Sabah.

"The President informed me that Chinese investors are very interested to tap into the potential of some Sabah islands which can be developed as tourist hotspots.

"On behalf of the State Government, I welcome Chinese investors who are keen to come and invest in Sabah's burgeoning tourism industry. Hopefully, their aspirations will be translated into economic realities," said Liew.

According to her, Frankie also proposed the use of China-made bigger and safer boats that can accommodate 80 to 100 people, to ferry tourists for inter-island trips not only on the west coast but also from Tawau to Semporna, for example.

It takes one hour to travel by road from Tawau to Semporna but a boat trip will shorten the time.

Such business operation, she said, could be a joint venture with locals, thereby creating job opportunities for our young people.

On the MCCC Sabah Branch's proposal for a "Visa on Arrival Only" for tourists from China, the Minister said at the moment, the Government does not have this policy in place.

"Any such policy needs to be approved by the Cabinet and announced by the Chief Minister."

Meanwhile, Liew accepted an invitation from MCCC Sabah Branch as the guest of honour for their Mooncake Festival celebration on September 7.

Founded in 1990, MCCC is a non-government, non-profit, multi-ethnic business association.

MCCC aims at promoting interaction, cooperation and development in trade, investment and other industrial and commercial fields between Malaysia and China as well as protecting the interests of our members.

Present were the Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai, MCCC Sabah Branch lst Vice-President cum President of SME Association of Sabah, Foo Ngee Kee, Vice-President Dato' Soh Poh Soon, Secretary Michael Chin Wee Yee, Deputy Secretary Tan Siew Ling and Treasurer Brett Chua as well as Council Members. - Mary Chin


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