KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) and Sime Darby Bhd are teaming up to develop Halal compliant infrastructure at the latter's Weifang Sime Darby Port in China.
HDC, which is an agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, had recently signed an MoU with Weifang Sime Darby Port Co. Ltd (WSD) to develop the infrastructure at the port and an industrial park.
Under the MoU, HDC and Sime Darby's 99%-owned WSD would be working to further strengthen Malaysia’s leadership in the Halal industry, particularly in Halal logistics services.
HDC chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin and WSD chairman Timothy Lee Chi Tim signed the MoU on behalf of their companies.
Both parties hope the JV will enable Malaysian Halal products to make their foray into the One Belt One Road (OBOR) network for wider market reach in northern and western regions of China, as well as neighbouring countries.
Recent OBOR initiatives aim to create the world’s largest platform for economic cooperation, including policy alignment, trade promotion and financing collaboration, as well as for social and cultural exchange.
Weifang Sime Darby Port’s close proximity to the OBOR network provides an added advantage to the “halal corridor” with links to Muslim regions in China, making Weifang Sime Darby Port the gateway for import and export of halal products.
As part of the MOU, HDC will share its expertise and offer training and consultancy services to WSD.
This joint effort is expected to benefit Malaysian exporters in expanding their halal businesses worldwide.
Jamil pointed out Malaysia’s Halal exports grew by 7.1% to RM42.18bil in 2016. Total exports to China amounted RM5.4bil and was featured as the largest export markets in 2016.
They expect Halal exports to grow 5% to 6% this year.
Malaysia exports cosmetics & personal care, food & beverage, palm oil derivatives, pharmaceuticals, Halal ingredients and industrial chemicals to China.