Yiwu holds potential for Sarawak products

Reporting from China

ZHEJIANG, China: Yiwu International Trade Market (YITM) in Yiwu city, Zhejiang Province is a good platform for local businesses or Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia, particularly from Sarawak, to promote their products to the global market.

YITM is one of China’s largest commodities exporters and known as the world’s largest commodities wholesale market by the United Nations (UN).

YITM not only sells local goods but also imports products from across the world, including Malaysia.

Apparently, China’s Open Policy has allowed greater business exchanges and created opportunities between China and countries of the world.

Kho Chit Hock

Malaysia Buyer Service Centre director in Yiwu, Kok Chit Hock, said he took the opportunity to set up a Malaysia National Pavilion, a shop operating in the trade market selling various Malaysian made products to the locals in China.

“China has a population of 1.4 billion, when your products are really good, you can sell them here (Yiwu) and definitely you will have a great business in China,” said Batu Pahat, Johor-born Kok, who has lived in Yiwu for 15 years.

View of the International Trade Market at District 1.

He said he has not come across bad Malaysian products but has yet to know of products from Sarawak.

“So far we have yet to sell products from Sarawak as there are less shipping containers directly from Sarawak to China.

“One of the challenges for Sarawak also is that the products have to be shipped to Klang first, and from there only they can be shipped to China,” he said, adding the few export stops, pose additional charges to exporters.

“But still it would be a great opportunity for Sarawak SMEs if they want to promote their products in Yiwu,” he said.

According to Kok, his role now is to help Malaysian SMEs to bring in their local products from Malaysia into Yiwu, and then, from Yiwu, to all over China.

“I have been assisting Malay SMEs especially, as they are unable to speak Mandarin,” he said.

Yiwu China Commodities City, founded in 1982 is now an international commodity circulation, information and exhibition centre. The trade market is divided into five districts.

Currently it has a business area of more than 6.4 million square metres providing 75,000 booths that offer merchandise of all sorts and receive daily passenger flow of 210,000 visitors.

At present, the market has trade with more than 210 countries and regions around the world.

It records more than 500,000 overseas merchants and more than 13,000 permanent foreign merchants going to Yiwu every year, attracting more than 20 multinational retail groups such as Wal-Mart and more than 30 well-known domestic supermarket chains who make permanent purchases.