SINGAPORE: A growing number of Sarawak merchants are taking advantage of new retail opportunities at the Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore (Statos) Gallery in Singapore.
The strategic move, approved by the Statos board last year, aims to provide direct returns to suppliers in Sarawak as well as testing the Singapore market in the search for new export opportunities.
“We realised that with the pandemic, Singaporeans and the residents here were not able to travel to Sarawak and we wanted to make the best possible use of our strategic office location here in Singapore.
“This is a way for locals to purchase sought-after Sarawak products and generate income for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) back home in Sarawak,” Statos deputy chief executive officer Putrie Rozana Soraya said in a statement today.
So far, Statos said 11 companies have entered into a retail agreement involving a range of consumables and handicrafts.
Statos said the opening of Retail@gallery in December 2020 was well received by walk-in visitors achieving sales valued at over RM3,000 in the first four weeks of trading.
Not surprisingly, it was the unique Sarawak handicrafts and jewellery that were most popular especially as gifts for special occasions.
Part proceeds from each sale are returned directly to the community in Sarawak helping to alleviate some of the loss of income from the lack of international tourists.
Among the first to sign up were tote bag and clutch founder, Bong Chiew Khiun and Bidayuh jewellery designer, Winnie Copper.
Local consumable produce is also a popular buy with MUSC Food industries Sarawak Laksa paste flying off the shelves into the hands of homesick locals stranded in Singapore.
Shoppers can also take home Raja Borneo’s Acacia honey and Kopi O Kosong and Coffee mix 3 in 1 from Kopimas while Kokokam Botanical Tea and Gula Apong Nectar will soon be available at the gallery. – Bernama