The Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation has called on the public to support the local economy by buying authentic, locally-made handicraft in preference to imported products.
It’s Chairman, Dato’ Sohaimi Shahadan said buying local handicrafts would help to create jobs and business opportunities and is good for the local economy.
“However most buyers, especially tourists often mistakenly buy cheaper imported products that flood the market as they believe that the items they buy are locally-made,” he said, adding that local handicrafts offer an assortment of beautiful ethnic designs and generally are of better quality.
“While imported products are cheaper, they don’t represent the local culture and deprive our local people of a means of livelihood,”Sohaimi added.
Sohaimi also believes that local handicraft products should carry specially designed labels to help buyers recognise authentic Malaysian handicraft from imported products in the market.
During the press conference in connecion with the Malaysian Handicraft Expo 2013 at 1Borneo Hypermall, Sohaimi urged the public to show their support for local handicrafts by visiting the Expo from Sept 26 to Oct 6 from 10am to 10pm.
Visitors will find an impressie range of exihbits including some interesting centrepieces such as the elegant Ribu-Ribu hand-woven basket from Kudat coiled intricately in graceful geometric patterns made from Lygodium fibres and a polished ceramic cap.
Sohaimi also urged the corporate sector as well as the government departments and agencies to show more support for the local handicraft industry by choosing locally-made handicrafts as souvenirs and mementos to their clients, important visitors and friends.
“They make beautiful gifts for business clients and guests,” he said.
Sohaimi said he expected this year’s Expo will generate RM870, 000, a little more than the RM 835,000 last year.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for local entrepreneurs to showcase some of their finest handcraft works from Sabah, Sarawak and the Peninsular,” he added.
The 11-day expo will exhibit the artifacts of some 2,160 skilled artisans, mostly Sabahans, some 1,443 of whom are from Kota Belud.