Brunei exhibitors at CAEXPO hope to expand business

Rokiah Mahmud in Nanning, China

First-time exhibitors at the 16th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, China are hoping that their four-day experience will lead to business expansion on a bigger scale, with the possibility of export to foreign countries.

The Assistant General Manager of the local cake shop Junjung Ummi Maryam said that their booth at Brunei’s Commodity Pavilion at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Centre (NICEC) has been swamped with customers, since the expo opened on September 20.

“Basically, we are still studying the market during this CAEXPO. Even though we encountered language barriers, it hasn’t stopped us from promoting our products to Chinese buyers, and we’ve received feedback that they really like our products,” she said.

Apart from promoting its renowned kuih lapis, Junjung is also selling biscuits, which come in four kinds: Chocolate Chip, Coffee Crispy, Pineapple Tart and Kueh Mor.

“We hope that this can be a medium for us to promote our products on a bigger scale. We have yet to enter the Chinese market, but we are looking forward to it,” said Ummi Maryam, adding, “So far, we have a pop-up store at the KLCC and Four Seasons. We are eyeing a possible franchise, as well as distributors, to further expand Junjung as an international brand.”

Meanwhile, the Director of Oudh Berjaya Kenny told the Bulletin that the agarwood or gaharu market has plenty of potential in China.

Being overwhelmed at the sheer volume of clients who shopped for agarwood trinkets at his booth, he said, “So far, we have been promoting these products to Chinese and Arab entrepreneurs with businesses in Brunei. They are our major buyers.”

Seven Bruneian companies represent the Sultanate this year at the 16th CAEXPO, which officially concludes tomorrow.

Assistant General Manager of Junjung Ummi Maryam (R) at the expo. PHOTO: ROKIAH MAHMUD