THE Taiwanese Government has put significant effort in developing its halal industry, said Taiwan External Trade Development Council (Taitra).
Its president and chief executive officer Walter M. S. Yeh said Malaysia was one of its most important markets with more than 20 million Muslims.
He said that in 2017, Taitra was entrusted by the Government to set up the Taiwan Halal Centre and help promote Taiwan’s halal-certified products.
“Last year, the centre was notified by the Malaysia Tourism Association that it had been recognised with a Gold award for its Muslim-friendly environment and facilities,” Yeh told the crowd during the Taiwan Halal Products and Bubble Tea sharing session at the Taiwan Expo 2019 at the Setia SPICE Arena in Relau, Penang.
“This year, MasterCard named Taiwan as a top destination in the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2019.
“Indeed, Taiwan is a hospitable place that offers great food,” said Yeh, adding that Taiwan had more than 1,000 halal-certified manufacturers and eateries.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s chief of staff of Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) Nick K. Ni said Malaysia is recognised as one of the global leaders in the halal industry.
“This year, we are exhibiting agricultural and aquatic products as well as Taiwan’s national drink – the pearl milk tea.
“We seek to create a concrete relationship with Malaysia in the halal industry,” Ni said.
The guests then toured the Taiwan Halal and Bubble Tea Pavilion.
They were also entertained by Penang’s celebrity chef Nurilkarim Razha, who whipped up delectable local dishes using Taiwanese halal products.
Shih Chen Foods was among the highlighted exhibitors at the expo.
The company’s distributor Malcolm Ong said the expo brought customers closer to their products such as Taiwanese brand 3:15PM milk tea and oolong tea.
“It’s our priority although getting halal certification was quite challenging.
“To gain the confidence of our Muslim customers, we have a specially designed cart to prepare the tea in front of them.
“We are the first company to turn milk tea into tea bags in the market.
“We make an effort to collect and formulate Taiwan oolong tea and black tea to create the best taste,” said Ong.
Ong also said that customers could get the milk tea online but the company hoped to get the product in supermarkets.
Another exhibitor, Anyong Biotechnology, showcased the company’s star product - Santé Premium-Silver Perch Essence.
Anyong Biotechnology project manager Anita Chang said that the award-winning essence contains 18 types of amino acids and collagen, providing nutritional supplements.
Other products by Anyong Biotechnology are giant grouper, barramundi, milkfish and Japanese sea perch farmed in Taiwan.
“These fishes are still fresh after being unfrozen,” Chang said.
Also present were Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation northern region office director Sharifah Nazreen Farhana and Penang International Halal Hub (Halal Penang) general manager Mohamad Firhan Ghouse.
The Taiwan Expo, organised by Taitra, is a platforms for Taiwanese companies to interact with businesses in Malaysia.