Malaysia, Indonesia to ink halal industry pact in Jakarta

JAKARTA: Malaysia and Indonesia are expected to sign a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) in June to encourage halal sector trade between the two nations, said the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Its secretary-general, Nizar Ali, said the ministry’s Halal Product Assurance Agency (BPJPH) and the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) had been negotiating on the MOC since the middle of 2022 and the draft was finalised in January.

“The MOC’s draft has already been finalised, and any revisions must be discussed together with the BPJPH, Jakim and the director of Malaysia’s Halal Council,” he said in a statement.

Nizar received an official visit in his office last Thursday from Jakim director-general Datuk Hakimah Mohd Yusoff, who was accompanied by the Malaysian Embassy’s religious counsellor Muhammad Naqzrul Azraf Mohd Nazarludin.

Nizar said he hopes that the Indonesia-Malaysia halal MOC will be signed during Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s official visit to Malaysia in June.

Hakimah added that she hoped the management of the halal industry in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore would be more systematic compared with other countries, including those in Europe.

Meanwhile, BPJPH cooperation coordinator Fertiana Santy said halal industry players highly anticipate the MOC.

“Mutual recognition of both countries’ halal certificates will also be implemented,” she added.

Malaysia and Indonesia are among the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries listed among the top 20 halal export countries in the 2022 Annual OIC Halal Economy Report 2022. –Bernama