On November 15th, three value-added Solomon Island exporters successfully entered the Malaysian market for the first time with the official launch of a “Solomon Islands Shelf” at the Jaya Grocer supermarket in the upscale Starling mall in Kuala Lumpur. With the support of the Australian Government’s Strongim Bisnis program exporters Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands (coconut bar soaps), Islands Own Pty Ltd (liquid coconut soaps), and SolTuna (canned tuna fish) collaborated to lower the shipping and marketing costs to penetrate this exciting, new market.
Currently, SolTuna is listed in twenty outlets, while Islands Own and Kokonut Pacific are featured in two, having achieved total sales of SBD 141,236 to date. Islands Own and Kokonut Pacific are anticipated to be listed in an additional five outlets in the coming weeks, following their successful launch. The subsequent step involves expanding the distribution of Solomon Islands’ products to more Jaya Grocer outlets, targeting approximately 45, and securing listings in new supermarket chains.
In Malaysia, there are about six other major supermarket chains. Mr. Edwin Ong, the Managing Director of Bountiful Ventures S/B, who oversees the distribution of these products in Malaysia, stated, “This marks the beginning of a launch platform or a springboard for more ‘Made in Solomon Islands’ products to enter major international markets in the near future.”
His Excellency, Rod Hilton, the Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, congratulated the partners on the success of their initiative, stating, “Australia is proud to support companies to expand export opportunities, creating more jobs, higher incomes and stronger economic growth for Solomon Islands.”
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration, PS Riley Mesepitu applauded the initiative, “It is absolutely a proud milestone for Solomon Islands. The government welcomes and fully supports the soft launch of Made in Solomons products into the new market outlet in Malaysia. This expansion not only presents an opportunity for Solomon Islands to showcase its unique and high-quality products but also promotes trade and economic growth between our two nations. Thumbs up to SolTuna, Islands Own and KPSI for the great breakthrough. We look forward to the success of this endeavour and are confident that it will contribute significantly to the growth and prosperity of Solomon Islands,” PS Mesepitu said.
Bob Pollard, Managing Director of Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands, thanked the Australian Government for their support through Strongim Bisnis: “We understand that establishing ourselves in the Malaysian market will not be easy, but we are giving it our best shot at success.”
If successful, these Solomon Islands products may be distributed throughout the entire Jaya Grocer Malaysian network of 200+ supermarkets.
The launch was attended by His Excellency Mr Salana Kalu, Solomon Islands Ambassador to The Republic of Indonesia and Mr Simon Fellows, Australian Acting Ambassador to Malaysia.
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