Biz-Holdings is a company with a range of businesses from beauty care, food and beverages (F&B), health and media in South Korea.
Penang state Religious Affairs, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee Chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Kassim said the partnership would provide consultancy and advisory services in setting up halal industries in Korea.
He said it would also serve as a “gateway” to enabling both countries to boost import and export activities with other nations.
“We will promote halal awareness in South Korea, while helping companies and agencies in the country to prepare them and their products to meet halal requirements.
“Our core role is to assist in the halal certification and transfer of technology between South Korean and Penang companies,” Abdul Malik told Bernama after the MoU document exchange ceremony here recently.
The event took place on the sidelines of the just concluded four-day Global Halal Market Place 2016 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
Under the MoU, Penang would be represented by PIHH Development Sdn Bhd, also known as Halal Penang which is responsible for the promotion, facilitation and development of halal industries in the state.
It is also an agency of the state government.
Meanwhile, Biz-Holdings Chief Executive Officer Catherine Yoo said the partnership offered a good opportunity for the company to move towards Southeast Asia and other Islamic markets.
She said demand for halal products in South Korea was rapidly increasing and companies tend to be a player in the industry without knowing how to access the market.
“The halal market is expanding globally and there are a lot of South Korean businesses interested in joining it. But, we don’t have any ‘know-how’ to approach it.
“The MoU is an important opportunity for us to know and learn from Halal Penang as we don’t have any halal training manual on how to certify a product,” she added.
She said Halal Penang’s long history and good track record in assisting countries such as the United Kingdom, Belgium, Turkey, Morocco, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, India, China and Japan, would help spur the industry in South Korea.
Malaysia’s own recognition as a global leader in the halal market with a high standard in the development of such products, also ensures promising growth for South Korea’s own industry, Yoo added.
She said through Halal Penang, Biz-Holdings was looking to trade in the market-to-go items such as health supplements, F&B, cosmetics, beauty care and other products.
“We will only accept goods that have the halal certification from the Department Of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM). Malaysia already has this international certification standard and that is important,” she said.
Yoo also said the company, with the support of the South Korean government, plans to establish a halal hub in the country with an allocation of up to US$2 billion.
“We have a huge plan. Under the Smart Halal Hub, we will promote (halal products to other) non-Muslim countries.
“We will also work together (with Malaysia), focusing on the Muslim market,” she added.
Incorporated in 2009, Halal Penang works in tandem with the state’s investment promotion agency, investPenang, the Penang Development Corporation, State Religious Department, as well as the federal authorities such as Halal Industry Development Corporation and JAKIM.
Through this working relationship, the state government envisages lifting its halal industry to greater heights.