News From : DagangHalal.com (27 Jan 2010)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan would soon start halal meat export to Malaysia, and in this regard negotiations with Kuala Lumpur were in advanced stages.
“Pakistan is awaiting Malaysian response”, well-placed sources in the Ministry of Livestock and Dairy Development told The News on Tuesday.
It is interesting to note that the Malaysian government is importing two-third of its meat from India.
Sources said Malaysia could import at least 60,000 tons of meat from Pakistan if it chooses to do so. “We have provided information about the livestock, veterinary and other details to the Malaysian government. After evaluation, it would authorize export of halal meat form the private sector in Pakistan,” sources said.
Officials said Pakistan was already exporting meat to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other gulf countries. During 2008-09, Pakistan exported 23,855 tons of meet worth $74.4 million. It also exported 94,000 animals to Afghanistan that amounted to $12.35 million.
During the same period meat production stood at 2.2 million tons. The export is about 1.8 per cent of the total production.
In November 2007, Pakistan and Malaysia signed a free trade pact in Kuala Lumpur which was the first bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).
The export of meat would economically help Pakistan’s rural population directly or indirectly. Once the export of meat to this important member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) starts, it would also attract foreign investment in Pakistani livestock sector that has a huge potential.
Last month, Malaysian Minister for Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Seri bin Haji Omar along with a high-level delegation visited various private sector slaughter houses and held meetings with the Food and Agriculture Minister Nazar Mohammad Gondal, and assured provision of share in its meat import.
There are huge investment opportunities in the agriculture sector of Pakistan. Pakistan had a list of items that could be traded in Malaysia including rice, meat and kinno. Also there were countless opportunities for investment in farm mechanization, seed, palm oil production and post-harvest handling.
By Israr Khan