Kuala Lumpur - Hot and spicy or sweet and sour, if you are game to give a taste of Malaysia to the world, the Government is eager to give you a low-interest loan to kickstart your venture.
However, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, those going overseas to open restaurants must guarantee that what they dish out is authentic Malaysian cuisine and true Malaysian ambience.
No non-Malaysian meals should be served at these restaurants, he said, adding those interested in the venture could apply for loans from Exim Bank, payable back with just 3% interest.
Najib said there were about 400 Malaysian restaurants abroad under the Malaysian Kitchen concept, but by 2015 the Government hopes to see 8,000 of them across the globe.
He said Malaysian food, especially Malay cuisine, was not well promoted worldwide even though it was more diversified compared to specialties of other countries.
“I`m very fond of Thai curry but Malay cuisine is even more diversified.
“However, Malaysian food is not too well-known outside of Malaysia because it is not promoted worldwide,” he said at the launch of Citarasa Masakan Pahang here last night.
“You must open a restaurant with Malaysian ambience so that customers will know straight away that it is selling Malaysian food when they enter the outlet,” he said, adding that entrepreneurs had the choice of promoting Malay, Chinese, Indian or any other Malaysian fare.
On another matter, Najib said Pahang had enormous potential in the tourism industry and he urged the state government to convince businessmen and entrepreneurs to invest in hotels and tourism products.
He said it was not enough to have the hotels but no tourist attraction to lure visitors to the state.
“You must create the buzz and if you manage to create the buzz, the number of tourists will increase tremendously,” he said.
Source: www.thestar.com (11 Juni 2007)