By ILONA ANDREW
KOTA KINABALU: The 2020 Sabah International Women Entrepreneur Expo (SIWE 2020) will serve as an opportunity for Malaysian female entrepreneurs, particularly Sabahans, to get their products to enter international market.
Its organiser, president of Industri Kecil dan Sederhana Wanita Sabah Association (IKSnita) Datuk Dayang Khatijah Datu Haji Bachtiyal said, the four-day event which will be held starting March 5 at International Technology and Commercial Centre, Penampang will feature 156 booths from across Malaysia.
“The main event will be the Women’s Inspiration and Motivation summit on the 8th, where we will be seeing participants not only from Malaysia, but Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan as well.
“Through the expo, which is organised for the first time in Malaysia, will reveal the competition among women entrepreneurs across the country,” she said during a press conference held at Hilton Hotel on Thursday.
According to Dayang Kathijah, Head of Wanita Warisan Datuk Siti Aminah Jabarhan is expected to launch the event which she hoped to receive 20,000 visitors.
“In the expo, 300 products including food and beverage, healthcare and herbs, consumer products, and beauty products will be highlighted.
“We will also feature local celebrities Hosiani Keewon, Tumatik, and Sakinah Ondu during the event,” said the president, adding that there will also be several in-house activities like cooking demo, makeup and hair show, and cultural performances.
Some 1,000 participants across Sabah, she said, have also signed up for the summit which will be seeing several speakers like Datuk Kadijah Ibrahim, a celebrity entrepreneur.
“During the summit, we will also honour iconic women by conferring the Global Women Icon Awards.”
A business matching from Singapore will also be conducted to allow Sabahan entrepreneurs to interact with Singaporean market exporters, Dayang Khatijah noted.
She reckoned that Singapore is among the countries that would have great potential for local entrepreneurs to market their products.
She said, local products were top-selling in Singapore as she experienced during an entrepreneurship event there last year.
“That’s why we are bringing them here (to the expo) again, so that they can further interact with the local entrepreneurs.
“We have also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Indusry (SMCCI), so they will come here and observe the local products,” she asserted.
She quipped that a speaker from the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) will also be brought in to share knowledge on how to become exporters.
“I feel that some entrepreneurs have the potential (in the industry), but lack knowledge on how to export their products.”
Dayang Khatijah again mentioned that Singapore has the potential market for local exporters since it is a hub where tourists from all over the world come to travel.
“When you enter Singapore (market), you basically enter the global market,” she said, adding that the volume of transactions within the Sabahan entrepreneurs and outside buyers will be monitored to see how far the market can go.
IKSnita aims to instill entrepreneurial spirits among women across Malaysia where it provides platforms for all women entrepreneurs, especially online entrepreneurs, to meet with customers and interact with other local and international women entrepreneurs.