SUNGAI PETANI: Locally made instant coffee, flavoured carbonated drinks and Stevia-based sweeteners produced by the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) here are some of the products that will be exported to Africa beginning this year.
The state’s Women, Development, Agriculture and Agro-Based, Entrepreneur Development, and Community Welfare Committee chairman Datuk Suraya Yaacob, said that this achievement was a result of the great teamwork by the group of entrepreneurs under the Koperasi Usahawan Groombig Negeri Kedah Bhd (KuGerak).
She said the memorandum of understanding between the SMEs and the foreign companies were signed in September last year. The five-year agreement will see about US$1 million worth of products distributed abroad annually.
Suraya added that 25 more KuGerak SMEs products from the state will be exported to China and another eight to the United States within the year.
“This is the kind of development that we would like to see here in Kedah. It is not easy (for local companies particularly the SMEs) to penetrate into the global market.
“However such success can be made possible when the entrepreneurs work together in a group. The entrepreneurs within the group can provide assistance to each other, depending on the needs in terms of manufacturing, packaging as well as ideas to improve their products so that they are more marketable in the foreign market,” she told reporters at a press conference here yesterday after launching the KuGerak Display and Distribution Centre.
Suraya added the support group bounce ideas of each other, ensuring that each can run their companies in a more organised manner. This can help them break into more international markets and survive much longer.
She added that SMEs with products that have the potential to be exported will receive financial assistance, between RM10,000 and RM30,000, from the state government.
KuGerak was established in 2008 and now has a total of 184 SMEs as members.