Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said Japanese companies have expressed deep interest in Malaysia's F and B, as well as health and beauty sectors.
"The Japanese have open their doors to the halal market compared to 10 years ago, and if Malaysia's small medium enterprises (SMEs) do not take this chance, it is a huge miss," he said after the launch of the Malaysia Halal Expo 2019 here today.
In 2017, Malaysia's halal export to Japan was worth RM2.8 billion and it is expected to steadily increase to RM3.1 billion in 2018, RM3.4 billion in 2019 and RM3.7 billion in 2020.
Mohd Redzuan said that more than 10 SMEs from the 320 exhibitors have exported to Japan and the rest is ready to do so.
"We hope that at this expo, we could exceed the RM50 million sales target we set for the business matching sessions," he said. As at today, RM40.8 million sales have been generated from 32 business matching sessions, comprising 27 SMEs.
Among Japanese companies that took part in the business matching sessions were Take One Co. Ltd that operates FamilyMart, Ohga Pharmacy, Hayabusa International and Yatsumoto Tsusho Co. Ltd.
As for Malaysia, five anchor companies that joined the sessions were Lulu Group Retails Sdn Bhd, Ramly Halal Mart Sdn Bhd, Aeon Big (M) Sdn Bhd, NESTLE MALAYSIA BHD and Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.
Meanwhile, Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Makio Miyagawa said Japan's tourism has grown tremendously over the years due to rising demand for halal products.
"About 50 years ago, the basic principal of our negotiation was not to import foreign agriculture products. But now, we want assistance from Malaysia as Malaysia is known for its halal sector," he said. - Bernama
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