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Overseas promotion next year for local handicraft
Published on: Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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KOTA KINABALU: Local handcraft entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to promote their products in overseas markets next year.This will be facilitated for them through the Overseas Entrepreneurship Incentive Programme 2015 under the Malaysia Craft Entrepreneurship Unit.

"There will be a total of 11 overseas expositions next year and we will offer free assistance to those handcraft entrepreneurs involved," said Malaysia Craft Development Corporation Sabah Branch Director Abd Rahman Omar.

He also said the programme is organised under the Malaysia Craft Entrepreneurship Unit.

"The programme will allow local handicraft entrepreneurs to participate in the overseas promotion.

"However, they must first be registered and own licences. The value of their products must also be more than RM10,000," he said, adding that their products must be of high quality and will be monitored.

Abd Rahman said this during a press conference on the Craft 2014 Promotion from Oct 23 to Nov 2 at 1Borneo Hypermall, here, Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming said the promotion programme would enable local craft entrepreneurs to market their products besides helping with the development of the craft industry in Sabah.

According to him, there has been an increase in the number of local handicraft entrepreneurs as well as its sales from the year 2012 to 2014.

"In 2012, there were a total of 526 entrepreneurs which gradually increased to 1,483 in 2013 and 1,702 up till October 2014. The sales value also had increased from RM31 million in 2012 to RM56 million in 2013.

Currently, the sales value is worth about RM45 million," he said, adding that he expects about RM900,000 to RM1 million in sales throughout the 10-day promotion.

"The increase is probably due to the success in instilling interest in handicrafts among the people, especially those from the rural areas such as Kota Belud, Kudat and Keningau.

"I hope more will have the opportunity to explore this field, especially women and those from the interior, to earn extra income," he said.

The craft industry, he explained, would usually go hand in hand with the tourism industry.

"There is a huge potential for local handicrafts with the development of the tourism industry in Sabah. Therefore, the Government had provided them with various incentives, outreach programmes as well as courses," Pang said, adding that handicrafts are exempted from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which will be implemented next April.

Pang also dwelled on the fallout from the disappearance of Flight MH370, the downing of MH17 as well as the series of kidnapping that occurred in the East Coast of Sabah.

"We must not deny that these incidents had an impact on our tourism industry. We had expected a total of RM60 million generated through the sales of our local handicrafts this year. However, up till now, we have only earned a total of RM45 million.

"This can be very challenging to most of us but we will try our best to make the best of it with just a few more months left."

Pang later thanked the security forces for their effort in ensuring the safety of the people as well as the nation, especially at the East Coast of Sabah.


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