News From : DagangHalal.com (09 Oct 2009)
PARIS: Malaysia is targeting Brittany in western France as the gateway to penetrate the US$40bil halal food market in Europe.
Halal Industry Development Corp Sdn Bhd (HDC) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin said the company hoped to provide a platform for Malaysian companies to break into the European halal market.
He added that the potential for the halal market was enormous, as France had the biggest Muslim population in Europe.
“Although the number may be small compared with Islamic countries, their purchasing power is very much higher,” he told Malaysian journalists after a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing ceremony between HDC and Benefiq Pte Ltd in Paris on Wednesday.
The MOU was signed between Jamil and Benefiq chairman Benoit Glon and witnessed by its executive director Terry Ghani, in the presence of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Also present were Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman, Malaysian Ambassador to France Datuk S. Thanarajasingam, French State Secretary for Trade and SME Herve Novelli, Parliament’s Finance Commission of France president Pierre Mehaignerie and Bretagne Locarn Institute chairman Alain Glon.
Benefiq, a private limited company incorporated in Singapore, is the Asian representative of Glon Groupe – one of France’s leading food companies with an annual turnover of 1.65 billion euros.
Through the MOU, the halal industry will have access to breakthrough technology that leads in traceability and sustainability from “farm to fork”.
Jamil described the MOU as a significant milestone for HDC and the industry, in line with the Prime Minister’s call to make Malaysia an international hub for halal products and services. “We will continue to strive to identify strategic partners like Benefiq to help accelerate the growth of the industry,” he said.
Through the collaboration, French companies would also be able to use Malaysia as a base to penetrate the Asian market.
Jamil said Benefiq;s vast experience in the agricultural sector and HDC’s knowledge of the halal industry would forge a winning partnership for both parties.
“Benefiq’s primary focus will be to position Malaysia as a strategic hub and centre of excellence for the halal market in Asia and the rest of the world,” he added.
He said halal awareness was not just among Muslims but also non-Muslims who knew the concept because halal promoted cleanliness, safety and quality.
By CHOI TUCK WO