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Growing number of S’wak merchants taking advantage of new retail opportunities at Statos gallery in Singapore

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The retail section at Statos Gallery.

KUCHING (April 13): A growing number of Sarawak merchants are taking advantage of new retail opportunities at the Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore (Statos) Gallery in Singapore.

The strategic move, approved by the Statos Board last year, aims to provide direct returns to suppliers in Sarawak as well as to test the Singapore market in the search for new export opportunities.

“We realised that with the pandemic, Singaporeans and the residents here were not able to travel to Sarawak and we wanted to make the best possible use of our strategic office location here in Singapore,” said Statos deputy chief executive officer Putrie Rozana in a statement.

“This is a way for locals to purchase sought-after Sarawak products and generate income for small-medium enterprises (SMEs) back home in Sarawak,” she said.

So far, eleven companies have entered into a retail agreement with Statos offering a range of consumables and handicrafts.

The opening of [email protected] in December 2020 was well received by walk-in visitors achieving sales valued at over RM3,000 in the first four weeks of trading.

Not surprisingly, it was the unique Sarawak handicrafts and jewellery that were most popular especially as gifts for special occasions. Part of the proceeds from each sale were returned direct to the community in Sarawak to help alleviate some of the loss of income from the lack of international tourists.

San Bong Enterprises founder Bong Chiew Khiun, a tote bag and clutch supplier, was one of the firsts to sign up with Statos.

“This marks a new milestone for San Bong bags. The products are beautifully displayed and up for sale at the Statos gallery in Singapore.

“I am very happy and honoured to have this opportunity to showcase my products on an international level,” she said.

Bidayuh jewellery designer Winnie Copper, who gives Sarawak’s ethic designs a contemporary twist with her range of hand-crafted clay bead jewellery, expressed her appreciation to Statos for promoting the state through her products.

“I am delighted to know that MM Collection designs have now penetrated into the Singapore market,” she said.

Local consumable products are also a popular choice at Statos Gallery with MUSC Food Industries’ Sarawak laksa paste flying off the shelves, often to homesick locals stranded in Singapore.

Shoppers can also take home with them products like Raja Borneo’s Acacia honey and ‘Kopi O Kosong’ as well as ‘Coffee Mix 3-in -1’ from Kopimas.

Meanwhile, Statos Gallery supervisor Zeella Rahmat said Statos is keen to bring in more products from Sarawak.

“Kokokam Botanical Tea and Gula Apong Nectar will soon be available at the Statos Gallery.

“Keep a look out on Statos Facebook page for the updates of new products available from our retail section,” she said.

Sarawak-based companies who wish to put forward their products for sale or display are welcome to log on to www.statos.com.sg to register their interest or email [email protected]