News From : DagangHalal.com (03 Jun 2009)
MALAYSIAN entrepreneurs must seek new ways to establish themselves in the halal industry, said Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir.
“By doing it with high standards, entrepreneurs will find their products and services attractive to the market, which would also fast fast track the entry of Malaysian products and services into the Middle East,” he said during a seminar on ‘Effective Entry into the Middle Eastern Market’ in Petaling Jaya yesterday.
While the government has taken various initiatives to support the development of the halal industry, Mukhriz said the private sector must intensify their investments in new production areas, upgrade existing facilities, intensify research and development, technology acquisition, marketing and promotion.
“In an effort to promote greater participation of SMEs in the halal industry, particularly in the development and promotion of halal products, the Small and Medium Industries Development Corp (Smidec) provides a matching grant for development and promotion of halal products,” he added.
Under this grant scheme as at April 2009, a total of 259 applications have been approved valued at RM15.25 million.
It is estimated that the value of the global halal market, which include both food and non-food sector, is US$2.1 trillion (RM7.31 trillion) per year.
He also urged Malaysian exporters to use the Middle East as a gateway to the US and European Union (EU) markets as there is a growing demand for Malaysian-made products such as palm oil, machineries, air-conditioners and electrical home appliances there.
Malaysia’s trade with the Middle East rose 36.78 per cent to RM54.53 billion last year, from RM39.87 billion in 2007.
Export value from Malaysia in 2008 was RM28.96 billion, up 30.65 per cent from RM22.16 billion in 2007. Import value also increased 44.45 per cent from RM17.71 billion in 2007 to RM25.58 billion in 2008.
Malaysia’s trade with the Middle East is 4.6 per cent of its total trade with the world and the top five products are electrical & electronic products valued at RM5.2 billion, palm oil (RM4.7 billion), jewellery (RM3.5 billion), processed food (RM2.1 billion) and machinery, and appliances & parts (RM1.7 billion).
With the Middle East now opening up to more inward investments such as Saudi Arabia, foreign companies are allowed to engage in trading activities through joint venture partnerships with local entities.
“There are vast growth opportunities for retail sector in the UAE market as there are more international brands like Australia’s Myers and US Deli Balduccis operating in the region,” said Mukhriz.
Source: Business Times