News From : DagangHalal.com (01 Apr 2010)
BRUNEI needs to increase awareness of its halal brands in the European market, especially France, if it is to be successful, said Pierre Imhof, president of the French Brunei Business Association (FBBA), yesterday at the association’s 10th Annual General Meeting.
With one of the largest Muslim communities in Europe, Imhof noted that there was a prominent potential market in France.
“We see a growing demand in France for halal (food) products, though the (French) community is probably less used to seeing halal products and brands … in Europe, and definitely, in France,” he said, adding that there were a number of local business figures looking to target the French and wider European market.
“I think that (the) Brunei authorities have tried to develop a lot, the halal brand ‘Made in Brunei’ and that I think is a very good move,” Imhof said on the progress of the halal industry.
However, he admitted that there needed to be more promotional efforts. “People know (that a halal product) comes from the Middle East, but they definitely (don’t) know (that) it comes from Brunei. So, in my view, there (needs to be) an effort in making these halal ‘Made in Brunei’ brands known,” adding that the Franco-Bruneian business relationship has been long-standing and of excellent quality so it should not be difficult.
Imhof also spoke of the FBBA’s active participation in the local economy, saying that while the association remains small with currently 80 members approximately, it is growing very fast and is one of the most active associations in the nation.
“We are trying to organize activities and business events which often relates to the topics of interest (to) our members,” he said citing the FBBA’s hosting of a lecture on the Land Code Strata Act in 2009, as one of many successful projects by the association. “I think the topics that we choose and the way we organise the talks, makes us quite lively, and a bit different from what the other associations are doing,” Imhof said. He also noted that the FBBA would be holding a talk sometime later in the year, on the National Development Plan.
When asked about Brunei’s potential as a premier destination for French tourists, Imhof said that while it is a small market and current tourism inflow from the European market has not been significant, he thought Brunei is a destination that deserves to attract more tourists.
“Definitely as the FBBA, it’s our role (to increase tourism) and we would do all we can to promote to French tour operators, tourists and companies, the attractiveness of Brunei,” he said, adding that the FBBA has a definite role to play in facilitating communications between French and Bruneian companies looking to develop bilateral projects or business relationships.
“Definitely in that respect, we welcome them,” said Imhof, adding that there had been a few instances where regional meetings for representatives of French companies were organised by the FBBA. Current members of the association include oil and gas giant, Total, and SDV Logistics.
The Brunei Times – By Ying Chia