Tilapia fish, ‘kopi-o kao’, local orange potential for Singapore market

Chew outlines the opportunities for Sarawakians to market their products to Singapore during a talk.

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Dec 14: Food and beverages (F&B) products like tilapia fish, lime juice, Sarawak’s local strong coffee fondly known as “kopi-o-kao” and mandarin oranges have high potential to be marketed in Singapore.

Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore’s (Statos) chief executive officer (CEO) Chew Chang Guan shared this in a talk on ‘Opportunities for Sarawakians to market their products in Singapore’ at ‘An Evening with Fellow Sarawakians: Talking About What Really Matters’ event on Friday (Dec 13) evening.

“We want to let the community (in Singapore) know what are some of the best local products Sarawak has to offer, for example in tourism and other things. We have to identify the products in Kuching, Sibu and other towns,” he said.

One of the food products which Sarawak has exported to Singapore in October this year, he highlighted, was the premium Batang Ai tilapia fish by Borneo Eco Fish for Sheng Siong Group which has 57 supermarkets across the island.

He explained that one of the roles of Statos was as a hub to create awareness about Sarawakian products for the Singapore market and beyond.

“Borneo Eco Fish’s sales in Sarawak has tripled even since it has penetrated the Singaporean market. Furthermore, businesses from other countries have also jumped on the bandwagon to order the fish from the company,” he added.

Additionally, Chew disclosed that beverage manufacturer Sundrop, which is famous for its orange juice can drinks, has also recently sent their first shipment of lime juice and ‘kopi-o kao’ can drinks to Singapore.

Noting the fierce competition in the fast-paced market of Singapore’s retail food sector, he said Sarawakian products aiming to enter the market must be unique and different in order to stand out and sustain.

“Otherwise, businesses will only be wasting money and time to expand their businesses into Singapore,” he adviced.

Chew shared that banana chips from BanaBee brand was another locally produced snacks which will be penetrating the Singaporean market soon.

As such, he assured that Statos will continue to intensify its effort to promote Sarawak local products because Singapore’s retail food sector is very competitive yet diverse with brands from all over the world including Thailand, South Korea and Japan.

“Businesses in Singapore are considering to import eggs from Sarawak but local poultry businesses here are unable to do so yet as Singapore requires very stringent food safety standards and certification,” he said.

Other potential agriculture produce for Singapore market include local oranges from Sarikei and Sibu as well as pineapple.– DayakDaily.