Brunei companies can tap growing Vietnam halal market

A vendor prepares a bowl of pho noodle soup in Hanoi, Vietnam, December 2006. In a recent interview with ‘The Brunei Times’, the Halal Vietnam Trading Construction Import Export Company Limited said it is keen to work with Bruneian companies which want to export halal food products in Vietnam. Picture: EPA

THE Halal Vietnam Trading Construction Import Export Company Limited (IMEX) is keen to work with Bruneian companies which want to export halal products in Vietnam.

IMEX’s Director of Syariah Abdullah Abdul Rahman said although most Vietnamese are not Muslims, there has been an increase in demand in halal products in the past few years.

“People are becoming more aware of halal products and they know that the products have to be thoroughly checked to be certified as halal. So a lot of customers prefer to buy these products,” he told The Brunei Times.

The company has recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Bruneian food manufacturer Sahamada Corporation Sdn Bhd that will allow Sahamada to distribute chili sauces and crackers in Vietnam. Abdullah said the MoA will hopefully encourage more Bruneian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to expand their business to Vietnam.

He said there is a huge potential for local SMEs to introduce their products in Vietnam as there few halal products in the Vietnames market.

“A lot of products here like the smoked fish flavoured chili sauce are not available in Vietnam and I’m sure there are many more food items unique to Brunei that can be introduced to Vietnam,” he said.

He said the partnership between IMEX and Bruneian companies will benefit both parties.

“Customers in Vietnam will have more choices in terms of halal products. For the companies here, they will be able to contribute more to Brunei’s economy by producing and selling on a larger scale,” he said.

Sahamada’s Managing Director Mohd Nur Khalid Hj Ilias said local businesses should take the opportunity to venture outside of the country now that it is easier to get in contact with international distributors.

He said having one overseas partner could lead to the possibility of penetrating other markets outside of Brunei.

“The distributor can easily export the products to the neighbouring countries and once our products are established in the market, it’ll be easier to market the products to even more distributors,” he said.

The Brunei Times