Expertise draws foreign investors

  • Business
  • Thursday, 08 May 2008

MALAYSIA may not be a global player in halal products but the country's professional services such as halal certification and systems have attracted overseas investors.

Jumaatun Azmi

KasehDia Sdn Bhd managing director Jumaatun Azmi said a lot of investments were flowing from Europe, the Middle East and South America to Malaysia's halal food sector.

“The investors are eyeing South-East Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and seeking partnerships with Malaysian companies to access these markets,” she told StarBiz.

“We want investors to ship their raw materials to Malaysia and utilise our halal hub to process and package the products and then ship them out with Malaysia's halal branding.”

Executive director Nordin Abdullah said these markets had huge amounts of raw materials but needed expertise on the manufacture of value-added products and “halal branding”.

Halal Industry Development Corp chief executive officer Datuk Jamil Bidin said countries like Turkey, Kazakhstan and the Philippines had asked Malaysia to assist in the development of their halal industries by setting up halal certification agencies there.

“Malaysia has long experience and expertise in many halal-related services like standardisation, audits, inspection and research.

“By exporting our services, Malaysia's export revenue can be increased,'' he said.

On local producers, Jamil said only big companies were competitive enough to export due to their economies of scale and knowledge on export requirements.

Malaysia's limited resources such as land and labour narrowed the country's production capabilities and the types of products.

“However, with attractive packaging, strong product adaptation and market knowledge, we should be able to cater to export demand,” Jamil said.

Malaysia International Halal Showcase CEO Mohd Shukri Abdullah said the prospects for the local halal industry remained bright due to Government support.

However, local companies now face the challenge of sourcing for agriculture-based raw materials.

“Perhaps the Government should work with governments of countries like Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines that are rich in raw materials to reduce the shortage,” he said.

Related Stories:Can firms win in halal market?

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