THURSDAY, 15 AUGUST 2019, KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) hosted the launch of “The Digital Trade Halal Value Chain for Tokyo Olympic 2020” – an initiative by Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) at Menara MATRADE today. The initiative aims to promote Malaysia’s exports to Japan by leveraging on the potential of high demand for products and services to serve approximately eight million Muslim visitors expected to visit Japan for Tokyo Olympic 2020.
The Digital Halal Trade Value Chain for Tokyo Olympic 2020 will see the introduction of Malaysia Halal Export & Promotion Committee, which members are representatives from the Public and Private sector. The Committee is tasked to develop a strategic roadmap in addressing both gaps and opportunities for Malaysian exporters to supply various Halal products and services for Tokyo OIympics 2020.
The initiative comprises a series of programmes to enhance key ecosystem areas such as logistics, data analytics, retail, certification, food distribution and tourism. Around 10 activities will be rolled out from now until the commencement of Tokyo Olympic 2020 in July next year with MATRADE leading the Halal Promotion and Marketing portfolio. The launch was officiated by the Secretary General of MITI, Dato’ Lokman Hakim Ali with the presence of Deputy Secretary General (Trade) of MITI, Dato’ Sri Norazman Ayob and Chief Executive Officer of MATRADE, Dato’ Wan Latiff Wan Musa, Chief Executive Officer.
According to Dato’ Wan Latiff, the Digital Halal Trade Value Chain initiative is aimed at delivering a sustainable solution for Malaysian companies to export to Japan. “The initiative is also in line with Malaysia’s aim to become a Global Halal Economy Enabler for Tokyo Olympic 2020. MATRADE specifically, has been promoting Malaysian exports to Japan since the opening of its two offices in Tokyo and Osaka in the 1990’s. Over the years, these offices have extended their facilitations in terms of matching local exporters with Japanese buyers. Through this engagement, we have developed a strong business database – a high-value asset for Malaysian companies.”
“Japan has indicated its interest to source for Halal products and services in an effort to accommodate the visit of Muslim tourists and athletes at Tokyo Olympic. There is a potential of more than 140 million meals to be required at the Olympic’s Athlete Village and approximately 720 million Halal meals to be prepared during the event. Given Malaysia’s close relationship with Japan and the strong credibility of Malaysian Halal products and services due to JAKIM’s Halal certification, we are confident Malaysia has a stronger position to be the main provider for Halal during Tokyo Olympic 2020,” he said.
In conjunction with the launch, a seminar was also held to highlight areas of opportunities for Malaysian companies for Tokyo Olympic 2020. The speakers include Mr. Mohammad Aminuddin Sham Tajuddin, Director of Halal, F&B and Agro-based Section at MATRADE who will be sharing insights on export opportunities for Malaysian halal products & services; Mr Keith Wong, Committee Member for Tokyo Olympic Halal Food Standard on strategies to enter Japan’s halal market and, Dato’ Azman Shah Mohd Yusof, the Chief Executive Officer of NorthPort Sdn Bhd on the establishment of Malaysia-Japan Halal Value Chain.
“We are pleased with Northport’s effort, which is a result of their partnership with NL Cold Chain Network and Sojitz (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. This will complement our efforts that are in the pipeline,” Dato’ Wan Latiff said about an integrated halal logistics service by Northport and its partners for Tokyo Olympic 2020.
To date, among the local companies that have succeeded in penetrating Japan in view of Tokyo Olympic 2020 are Golden Fresh Sdn Bhd (to supply its frozen seafood products to Japan), Bangi Golf Resort (to supply of ready-to-eat packaged halal food to restaurants and hotels in Tokyo) and Hernan Corporation (to export its mochi durian products to Japan). Currently, MATRADE is assisting these exporters to promote their offerings to targeted buyers in Japan.
Moving forward, MATRADE will continue to assist Malaysian companies to brand and further promote their Halal products and services through coordinating their participation in renowned trade shows such as the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) and Foodex in Japan, among others.
In 2018, Malaysia’s export of halal products was valued at RM40 billion. The food and beverage industry made up the largest export value - at RM20 billion, followed by halal ingredients (RM14.5 billion), cosmetics and personal care products (RM3 billion) and palm oil derivatives (RM1.8 billion). Japan was Malaysia’s 3rd largest export destination after Singapore and China, with exports valued at RM2.5 billion. The global Islamic economy is expected to grow to USD6.8 trillion in 2023 with Halal food and beverages sector worth nearly USD1.86 trillion.