KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 (NNN-Bernama) — Mexico, which is one of the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership member countries, has expressed a desire to work together with Malaysia on the development of the Halal food industry.
In a statement here, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said the country was impressed with Malaysia’s comprehensive Halal standard and certification system.
MITI said Halal products were a matter of interest to Mexico Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos De Icaza Gonzalez during his meeting with MITI Deputy Minister Chua Tee Yong on Thursday.
Accompanying Icaza Gonzalez were the country’s international trade and investment promotion agency ProMexico Chief Executive Officer Francisco N. Gonzalez and Ambassador of Mexico to Malaysia Carlos Felix Corona.
“Icaza Gonzalez stated that Mexico is currently developing its Halal industry and he expressed hope they can access the global Halal market through cooperation with Malaysia,” MITI noted.
Malaysia is now recognised as the leader in the world’s halal industry. In 1974, the Research Centre for the Islamic Affairs Division in the Prime Minister’s Office began to issue halal certification letters for products that met the halal criteria at that time.
In 2000, the first halal standards were released, making Malaysia the first country to have a documented and systematic Halal assurance system.
Five years later, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) had expanded its halal unit, namely JAKIM’s Halal Hub.
JAKIM was the world’s first halal certification body responsible for monitoring the halal industry.
In 2006, Halal Industry Development Corporation was set up to coordinate the overall development of the Halal industry.
According to MITI, Icaza Gonzalez also further added that despite Mexico’s exports to Asia remaining tame for now, they are enthusiastic about accessing China’s massive market.
“Thus they hope through greater bilateral cooperation with Malaysia, they can further develop their trade relations in Asia,” it said.
In 2015, bilateral trade between both countries reached US$1.97 billion (US$1.00=RM4.06), an increase of 17.5 per cent from 2014.
In the first half of 2016, bilateral trade between both countries hit US$1.085 billion, an increase of 35.6 per cent compared to the same period last year. — NNN-BERNAMA