The event, held in Menara Matrade, was a collaboration with Brahim’s Holdings Bhd and Nippon Express (M) Sdn Bhd.
It highlighted how the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 will provide a suitable platform for Malaysian companies supplying halal products and services to explore the Japanese halal market.
SMEs represented at the seminar were given insights on the challenges and market entry strategies for halal products and services in the Japanese market; the country’s rules and regulations on logistics and market access; export experiences by Brahim’s Holdings and halal logistics from Nippon Express; and Matrade’s e-commerce platform.
(Brahim’s Holdings associate director Nasser Abu Bakar (left) giving a talk on the challenges and entry strategies to local companies during the Matrade Business Talk.)
The Tokyo Olympics, set to take place from July till August 2020, will bring together the world including potential buyers who are keen on halal products and services.
Matrade chief executive officer Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud said the seminar provided a timely opportunity for the business community to expand their market into Japan since Tokyo had been selected to host the Olympics.
“Ongoing efforts have been taken to create a conducive environment to provide sufficient halal products for the athletes, tourists and the Muslim population in Japan during the run-up to this international sporting event,” Dzulkifli said.
In 2014, the number of Muslim visitors to Japan was 400,000, and this was estimated to reach one million arrivals by 2020.
Last year, Malaysia exported RM2.2bil worth of halal products to Japan.
Japan, surprisingly, is one of the largest importers of food products in the world, with an estimated shipment valued around US$225bil (RM965.3bil) in the food service sector of which 60% of its total food supply is imported, according to reports.
The country is Malaysia’s third largest trading partner for exports, with total bilateral trade valued at RM43.36bil in 2014.
Dzulkifli added that Matrade was Malaysia’s trade promotion agency and through its strong relationship with entities such as Brahim’s Holdings and Nippon Express, it would be sharing all its resources to raise awareness about Japan as a high-value market for the halal sector.
“We hope seminars such as this will encourage more Malaysian companies to venture into the Japanese halal market.
“We wish to improve the visibility of Malaysian halal brands in Japan, hence we need more local suppliers to go into the Japanese market,” he explained.
Brahim’s Holdings executive chairman Datuk Seri Ibrahim Ahmad Badawi highlighted that the alliance with Matrade and Nippon Express provided a platform for Malaysian SMEs, and seminars such as this could show them that they had a structure for the SMEs to tap into the Japanese market.
Nippon Express (M) Sdn Bhd managing director Kosuke Tabuchi pointed out that they were ever ready to extend support in terms of logistics between Malaysia and Japan to Malaysian SMEs.
He also expressed the company’s intention to share as much information as possible about Japan to the Malaysian SMEs so that these companies would understand the Japanese market better.
Nippon Express is a global logistics consultant, providing one-stop business solutions that connect people and companies beyond national and regional boundaries through diverse logistic modes.
Matrade also has other programmes such as Foodex Trade Show and Malaysia International Halal Showcase to give local companies a springboard to the extensive global halal consumer market.