Maybank Islamic picks 10 SMEs to venture into Singapore halal food market

Maybank Islamic CEO Datuk Mohamed Rafique Merican said this collaboration is part of its plans to help local SMEs expand their reach outside Malaysia, bringing the halal businesses to the world.

KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank Islamic Bhd has selected 10 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to venture into Singapore’s halal food market under its “Halal Route to Market” programme (HalMap).

It said on Tuesday the SMEs will be provided a distribution platform, service advisory and training to market their products in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) market segment.

The 10 SMEs and their 50 products are expected to be on the shelves of a supermarket and specialty grocery store called Eccellente by HAO Mart located in @Kinex Mall, Singapore, by the fourth quarter of this year.

Maybank Islamic said to facilitate the programme, it had teamed up amaxMALL Sdn Bhd (amaxMALL) and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade).

amaxMALL, which is one of the established online and physical business platforms for SMEs, will work with HAO Mart to market and promote the SME products physically and online.

The partnership is part of the bank’s efforts to tap into the growing Halal market by making more people aware about the industry, increase the number of new Halal-certified companies, and ultimately assist them to expand into the overseas Halal markets.

Maybank Islamic CEO Datuk Mohamed Rafique Merican said this collaboration is part of its plans to help local SMEs expand their reach outside Malaysia, bringing the halal businesses to the world.

“With the current challenges faced by SMEs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, HalMap can be a new channel to provide the bank’s SME customers with additional opportunities to expand their operations,” he said.

Mohamed Rafique said the bank is also committed to assist not just the SMEs but also its business banking customers and corporate businesses to expand their Halal business opportunities globally.

Hence, it focuses on four areas to drive the growth of halal supply chain, namely the awareness, financing, capability and capacity building and access to marketplace.

This is the second year of collaboration between amaxMALL and HAO Mart. There are 84 Malaysian SME products placed at what the supermarket calls, the Malaysia Bay shelves.

amaxMALL CEO Datin Dr Nik Sarina Hashim described this is a huge opportunity for Malaysian SME Halal products to expand their reach into the export market.

Besides HalMap, amaxMALL is also collaborating with Matrade on eBizLink, the new PEMERKASA (Program Strategik Memperkasa Rakyat dan Ekonomi) initiative mandated to Matrade to boost Malaysia’s exports.

Matrade CEO Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz said the HalMap programme was timely to support SMEs to fast track their business recovery through export activities.

“In this strategic partnership, we have incorporated a digital feature in HalMap through the current Matrade’s eBizLink programme which is a new initiative by the government under PEMERKASA with greater emphasis on digital marketing.

“It aims to create awareness and increase visibility for Malaysian products and brands overseas, towards increased offline physical sales,” he said.

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