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STIDC optimistic about market prospects for bamboo bikes in China

KOTA SAMARAHAN (March 21): Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) is hoping that there would be a high demand for its bamboo bicycles, in view of Sarawak having a certain variety of the plant used as the key raw material for producing these pedal-powered machines.

The corporation’s general manager Datu Hashim Bojet said STIDC would want to market these bamboo bicycles to China, which it regarded as a very sensible proposal.

“We have many species of bamboos growing in Sarawak, and one of them is the ‘Bambusa Nana’. Such bamboo type is not found in China, which is why we believe that there is a demand for bamboo bicycles there,” he said during a press conference held the closing ceremony of STIDC’s ‘Intensive Bamboo Bike Course’ at the Kota Samarahan STIDC Furniture Industry Complex (KIPPKS) yesterday.

Adding on, Hashim said the corporation was expecting to see its bamboo bicycles being sold in China, through a subsidiary, within this year.

It is informed that the STIDC is working with Brooke and Breeze, a Shanghai-based company, in this venture.

“We’ve struck a deal with the company (Brooke and Breeze) because we have proven that we can produce good bamboo bicycle’s frames.

“Initially, the deal is for STIDC to produce only the frames, but we also wanted to produce the bicycles of our own.

“Following that, STIDC and the company have agreed to work together to sell Sarawak’s very own brand of bamboo bicycles in China,” he said, adding that STIDC was still working on perfecting the prototype.

In this respect, he said his team had conducted a durability test, where these bicycles were taken for a long distance ride, from Kuching to Sabal – the area in Simunjan District where the bamboos use to make the bicycles were grown.

“We also propose for tournaments involving bamboo bicycles to be run in Sarawak in the future.”

On pricing, Hashim said a STIDC’s bamboo bicycle could go for between RM1,000 and RM5,000, depending on varying specifications.

“For the export market, we could make bicycles with a starting price US$3,000 (over RM13,000),” he said.

Meanwhile, a total of 12 representatives from STIDC and its subsidiaries received their certificates upon completing the course, which ran Feb 6 to March 3 at the KIPPKS.

The course was conducted by the Sustainable Resource Management Division and the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Entrepreneur Development Division of STIDC, with David Wang and Martin Luo from Brooke and Breeze comign in as the instructors.

In a statement, STIDC said during the course, the participants learned to make bamboo bicycles.

“A total of 24 bamboo mountain bikes were successfully produced throughout this month-long course,” said the corporation.