Curtin Malaysia holds ‘Sarawak in London’ showcase to help local entrepreneurs enhance product visibility internationally

Miri – 25 July 2022 – The Research and Development (R&D) Committee of Curtin University Malaysia’s Faculty of Business recently collaborated with 17 local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and its strategic partners in the United Kingdom to hold a ‘Sarawak in London’ product showcase and digital platform launch aimed at promoting and increasing the visibility of local products in the international market.

The hybrid launch of the digital platform held simultaneously in Miri and London saw the Curtin researchers led by Associate Dean of R&D and R&D Committee Chair Dr. Tiong Ying Ying and the local entrepreneurs and exhibitors joining the strategic partners and potential clients in London for a 3-hour-long online dialogue, launching ceremony and virtual tour of the showcase.

Officiating at the event was Sarawak Minister for Transport and chair of Curtin Malaysia’s Management Committee Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin. He was joined by Miri Mayor Adam Yii Siew Sang and Curtin Malaysia Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Professor Simon Leunig, who attended online. Also in attendance were Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Vincent Lee, Chief operating Officer Ir. Pieter Pottas and Dean of the Faculty of Business Professor Andreas Zins.

Dato Sri Lee noted that four of the exhibitors at the showcase had actually sent their products to London to be showcased there, namely Tea Three by Green Leafs (three layered tea beverages), Kun Products (processed foods), Starz Team Arts & Crafts (handmade soap) and Look at Me (pearl jewellery).

“Sarawak has unique products, and I am optimistic that this event will help our local entrepreneurs in promoting their products to outsiders,” Dato Sri Lee said.

He lauded the Faculty of Business for coming up with the idea for ‘Sarawak in London’ which he said is in line with the Sarawak Government’s initiative to nurture digitalisation and advance SMEs and emerging businesses in Sarawak.

Mayor Yii, meanwhile, said the digital platform will help create endless opportunities for local entrepreneurs to market their products abroad. He too, applauded the Faculty of Business’ efforts to help local micro-entrepreneurs tap into bigger markets.

The other enterprises participating in the showcase were Miri Artisan Market, Pakat, Sarawak Fruit Enterprise, Rania, Pie House, Sarawak Batik Linut Textiles, Olizania Borneo, Penan Womens’ Projects, ACHIM, Ineuako Enterprise, Artsy Tailor Craft, WAT Academy and Route 66.

Over in London, six strategic partners worked with the R&D Committee to put the event together. Members of the Social Innovation Movement Association were present to offer advice on impact management while professors from Brunel University London conducted a collaborative transformation session after the event.

Also present to co-create business value through internationalisation were representatives from Makan Bites, an active digital platform in the United Kingdom, and Borneo Street UK, a potential event collaborator in London.

That evening, Halia UK, another partner based in London, hosted a dinner for potential investors in the Sarawak products, as well as Sarawakians residing in London. The dinner fare included Sarawak nasi kelupis and kek lapis provided by Borneo Street UK.

Strategic partners in Miri that also supported the event were the Miri TEGAS Digital Innovation Hub and Horizn Digital Sdn Bhd. Miri TEGAS connected Curtin Malaysia with the stakeholders via their start-up ecosystem and collaborated with local food innovators to cater a high tea during the event in Miri. Horizn Digital, meanwhile, played a pivotal role in promoting the event.

Dr. Tiong said the concept for ‘Sarawak in London’ came from the Faculty of Business’ knowledge transfer programme to support local industry and nurture new and emerging enterprises.

“Through ‘Sarawak in London’, we aim to connect our local entrepreneurs with United Kingdom-based digital platforms and enhance the internationalisation potential of their products. We have many talented entrepreneurs here and they can expand their businesses considerably by penetrating the international market,” she said.

“We see this event as an essential step toward enabling local enterprises to connect to the global market. The digital platform, meanwhile, will enable local brands to continually explore business opportunities and enhance their product visibility, at the same time helping to raise the profile of Sarawak and particularly Miri internationally.

For more information on Curtin Malaysia and the courses it offers, visit its website at https:// or look for Curtin Malaysia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn or Tik-Tok.

Exhibitors at the Miri event.

Prof Andreas Zins (2nd left) and others viewing some of the products.

Dato Sri Lee (far right), Prof Vincent Lee and Ir Pieter Pottas during the virtual launch of the platform.

Dato Sri Lee admiring locally-produced print fabric.

Strategic partners, Sarawakians and other guests at the dinner in London.

Some of the Sarawakians in London.