KOTA KINABALU: Taking advantage of the popularity of the Korean wave, the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries set up the K • FISH Business Support Center in Kuala Lumpur in June 2018 to establish collaborations with local distributors to ‘import and promote quality Korean seafood products in Malaysia.
K • FISH Malaysia Managing Director Lee Dong Jun said the center is currently working with more than 10 companies to bring a taste of Korea to Malaysians.
As a government organization, K • FISH Business Support Center provides financial support to distributors for their marketing, promotion and advertising of Korean seafood products, and connects distributors with the right partners and products.
Since the establishment of the center, the volume and value of Korean seafood exports to Malaysia have increased significantly from USD 8.6 million (1,656 tons) in 2018 to USD 7.7 million (1,649 tons) in 2019, to USD 9.9 million (4,173 tonnes). ) in 2020.
As of September this year, Malaysia imported 7,741 tonnes of seafood worth $ 12 million from Korea.
With the growing popularity of Korean products and collaborations with local distributors, Lee believes the export volume of Korean seafood to Malaysia will peak.
He said the K • FISH Trade Support Center is ready to help Malaysian distributors choose the right Korean seafood suppliers, as well as support the marketing and promotion of the products to local consumers.
In East Malaysia, K • FISH is working with Sabah-based Siew Ha Trading Sdn Bhd to import seafood and soon live seafood from Korea into the local market.
“Siew Ha is the fastest growing company that K • FISH works with. The company is now the main distributor of K • FISH in Malaysia, ”said Lee.
Siew Ha Trading Sdn Bhd was founded in 2015 by Percy Siew as a distributor of Korean products, ranging from fruits, vegetables, food products, frozen foods and beverages. The company also operates a retail store at the Jesselton Shopping Center, which also serves as a live sales studio for new products in conjunction with K • Fish on the Soil & Seeds – Live Facebook page.
In 2018, K • FISH contacted Siew Ha and expressed their intention to introduce the company to Korean seafood.
“We tasted the samples and they were delicious. K • FISH selects products well because the items they recommended to us are widely accepted by local consumers.
“With the help of K • FISH, we are able to offer customers a wide variety of Korean seafood,” Siew said.
Some of the best-selling Korean seafood products include fish meat corn dog, fish sausage, seaweed, shrimp nuggets and seaweed noodles.
In addition to recommending products, she said that K • FISH also supports the company’s marketing efforts by providing photography and poster design services for Korean seafood.
“When we do direct sales, K • FISH helps us take photos of the products and design posters to post on our Facebook page.
“K • FISH also provides links to our company on its own Facebook posts to direct customers to us. “
In addition, she said the business support center provides advice on how Siew Ha could further improve its Facebook live sales.
Through K • FISH, Siew said that local consumers are more aware of Korean seafood products, which is reflected in the growing demand for these products in the market.
“We are grateful for the tremendous support and help K • FISH has given us. “
In the future, she said the company will import ready-to-eat, frozen, sliced plaice sashimi from Korea.
With the help of K • FISH, the company plans to import live seafood such as oysters, abalone, octopus, spoonworms and sea squirts from Korea, which will soon be available in local supermarkets and Korean restaurants.
“We believe Korean live seafood will be well received here because customers love the variety in their food.
“Live seafood will also be popular among Korean tourists when they return to Sabah.”
Those interested in importing seafood from South Korea to Malaysia, please feel free to contact the K • FISH Trade Support Center in Malaysia at 03-27328411 or visit the K • Facebook page FISH Malaysia at https://www.facebook.com/KFISHKLMY