By Choi Tuck Wo
PARIS: Malaysia is targeting Brittany in western France as the gateway to penetrate the US$40bil Halal food market in Europe.
Halal Industry Development Corp Sdn Bhd (HDC) chief executive officer
Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin said the company hoped to provide a platform for
Malaysian companies to break into the European Halal market.
He added that the potential for the Halal market was enormous, as France had the biggest Muslim population in Europe.
“Although the number may be small compared with Islamic countries,
their purchasing power is very much higher,” he told Malaysian
journalists after a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing ceremony
between HDC and Benefiq Pte Ltd in Paris on Wednesday.
The MOU was signed between Jamil and Benefiq chairman Benoit Glon and
witnessed by its executive director Terry Ghani, in the presence of
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Also present were Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman, Malaysian
Ambassador to France Datuk S. Thanarajasingam, French State Secretary
for Trade and SME Herve Novelli, Parliament’s Finance Commission of
France president Pierre Mehaignerie and Bretagne Locarn Institute
chairman Alain Glon.
Benefiq, a private limited company incorporated in Singapore, is the
Asian representative of Glon Groupe – one of France’s leading food
companies with an annual turnover of 1.65 billion Euros.
Through the MOU, the Halal industry will have access to breakthrough
technology that leads in traceability and sustainability from “farm to
Jamil described the MOU as a significant milestone for HDC and the
industry, in line with the Prime Minister’s call to make Malaysia an
international hub for Halal products and services. “We will continue to
strive to identify strategic partners like Benefiq to help accelerate
the growth of the industry,” he said.
Through the collaboration, French companies would also be able to use Malaysia as a base to penetrate the Asian market.
Jamil said Benefiq’s vast experience in the agricultural sector and
HDC’s knowledge of the Halal industry would forge a winning partnership
for both parties.
“Benefiq’s primary focus will be to position Malaysia as a strategic
hub and centre of excellence for the Halal market in Asia and the rest
of the world,” he added.
He said Halal awareness was not just among Muslims but also non-Muslims
who knew the concept because Halal promoted cleanliness, safety and