KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 (Bernama) — The Halal Industry Development Corp (HDC) aims to expand halal export products to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) from below RM2 billion now to RM10 billion soon, said chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin.
He said the corporation was confident of achieving its target through the penetration into Saudi Arabia, which played an important role among the GCC countries, with a population of 500 million.
“As we know, all Muslims will go to Mecca (Saudi Arabia) to perform their haj and umrah. Therefore, the need to supply ready-made food is vital to cater to the huge demand.
“So, by increasing our capacity to supply more food and beverages to the holy place, our local brands will be able to create a good branding among the pilgrims, the local companies in Saudi Arabia, which has a population of 29 million, and among the GCC members,” he told Bernama.
Jamil said a lot of Malaysian halal products had been recognised by the locals there and as a result, they wanted more.
Thus, HDC has signed a collaboration with a Saudi Arabian company, Samyco Holdings Bhd, to allow over 100 local halal companies to bring their products to the country.
Founded in 2010, Samyco was set up as an agent and a distributor of food and beverages in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Arabian Gulf.
“Besides food and beverages, there are also demand for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics from the country.
“Out of the 100 companies, 70 per cent are Bumiputera-owned,” he said.
He urged them to grab this opportunity to expand their businesses abroad which cost less and at the same time would improve the country’s export figures.
“Instead of going on their own and promoting their products, via this collaboration, Samyco will bring their products to Saudi Arabia.
“And, they can also go a long mile by signing joint venture (JV) deals with Saudi Arabian companies to produce their products there,” he said.
Samyco president, Dr Rashed Osman Joher, said Malaysian companies could set up their own operation centres via a 50:50 JV.
“It depends on their financial stabililty actually, to acquire either a small or big market,” he said, adding that Malaysian halal companies would be given a solid platform with no charges and they could also access the market easily.
Last year, HDC said Malaysia exported halal products worth RM33 billion.
The major destinations were China (RM6 billion), Singapore (RM3 billion) and the US (RM1 billion), it said.