| Azaraimy HH |
ELEVEN Village Consultative Councils (MPKs) from Brunei are relishing the opportunity to showcase their products to a foreign audience at the 14th China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, People’s Republic of China, which officially opened yesterday and will continue until September 15.
DARe (Darussalam Enterprise), a statutory body which aims to nurture and support local enterprises from start-up to growth, indicated that the MPKs were in high spirits, especially after His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen visited Brunei’s Commodity Pavilion at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Centre (NICEC) on Monday.
As the Sultanate assumes the mantle of Country of Honour, the MPKs are stepping up and playing their part in putting Brunei on the world business map.
“It’s an honour for us to be able to meet His Majesty and have this opportunity from the government to showcase our herbal teas to such a large audience,” said Haji Amran bin Haji Johari from Kiudang, Tutong.
“It is our first time in China, and we are keen to see if there is potential for our product to sell beyond Brunei.”
Haji Amran, who served in the military for 20 years and now works as a car salesman, has been developing his teas – sold as 3MPK Herbal Tea – by purchasing the leaves of Sambah Bagangan (known scientifically as Aidia racemosa (Cav) Tirveng) from his village’s community.
Recently, 3MPK Herbal Tea managed to make headway into Brunei’s supermarkets.
Meanwhile, the sole MPK from Temburong, Kampong Rataie, is being represented by 23-year-old Nur Darina Sahari, who is hoping to do her village and district proud by showcasing their banana crisps and pineapple tarts.
“I think it is amazing that our product has been able to make it this far, and I would like to thank His Majesty and the government for making it possible for us to come here,” said Nur Darina, whose mother was scheduled to accompany her, but had to undergo emergency surgery on a tumour and is now recovering.
“I really hope that I can make my mother proud,” Nur said.
Brunei’s delegation comprises 119 companies – 48 food and beverage companies, 28 from various service industries, 15 in fashion and handicrafts, 11 in healthcare and cosmetics, eight in manufacturing, seven in education and two producing household products.
Of these participating companies, 91 fall into the category of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), while others are government-linked companies, educational institutions and Chinese companies with business presence in Brunei.
In addition to the Commodity Pavilion, Brunei will also take centre stage at the Cities of Charm showcase, where the 11 participating countries will promote a selected city of their own, as well as the China-Asean Business and Investment Summit (CABIS).
This year’s CAEXPO carries the theme ‘Co-building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Promoting Regional Economic Integration through Tourism’.