Uruguay Eyes M’sia As Springboard To Asian Market



KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 (Bernama) — Uruguay wants to form a partnership
with Malaysia to export its halal beef and make the latter a
springboard to enter Asian market, said its Ambassador to Malaysia
Pablo Sader.

Recognising Malaysia’s potential in becoming a world halal hub, he
said there was a huge prospects for Uruguay not only to increase its
beef exports to Malaysia but also penetrate other Asia markets.

“We are exploring our synergy with Malaysia in terms of halal
industry. Being a prime foodstock producer, we are looking at a new
arrangement we can make with Malaysia,” he told Bernama in an interview.

He said one of the possibilities was to make Malaysia a
manufacturer and to use it to repackage premium beef products certified
by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia for re-export to
other Asian market like Middle East.

Last year, Uruguay was the second largest exporter of frozen beef
to Malaysia after India, amounted to US$10 million (US$1=RM3.35).

Uruguay is a traditional beef-exporting country, with more than 80 percent of the export mostly to the US and Mexico.

Uruguay President Tabare Ramon Vazquez Rosas was here recently
leading a 50-member delegation in efforts to beef up bilateral ties
with Malaysia and explore new areas of cooperation between them.

Meanwhile, chairman of the National Meat Institute, Dr Luis
Alfredo Fratti Silveira, who is also a member of the delegation, said
Uruguay wanted to diversify its beef exports to Asia market, currently
only to Malaysia and South Korea.

“Malaysia’s potential is much larger than what it demonstrated,” he said.

Meanwhile, National Ports Authority president, Fernando
Pontigliano, said Malaysia could also use Uruguay as gateaway to enter
the Mercosur market which has Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay
as members.

“Mercosur countries have over 250 million people and collectively
have a output of US$1.1 trillion, accounting for over 75 percent of
South America’s gross domestic product.

“To date, more than 50 percent of the products which move through
Uruguay are not for the Uruguay alone but also for Mercosur market, and
trade can reach a high of US$2 billion at a time,” he said.

He said this would strengthen Uruguay position as an important
centre for distribution in the region and with an adequate legal
framework, it would allow the country to become an efficient logistics
centre for the region.

“Malaysian exporters can make our country a hub to export their
products to Mercosur. We are also developing the proper infrastructure
to cater to their needs,” he said.

Pontigliano said the Halal Development Corp (HDC) had offered its
expertise to develop the concept of halal logistics in Uruguay’s ports.

HDC’s chief executive officer, Datuk Jamil Bidin, said it could
emulate the existing MISC’s fully-integrated halal logistics centre in
Westport to develop in Uruguay.

“In the area of logistics, we want to make sure that the issue of
halal is properly complied and this is where we can apply our expertise
to work with our counterparts in Uruguay,” he said.

Officials from HDC and KasehDia Sdn Bhd, the organiser of World
Halal Forum, are expected to visit Uruguay next year to dicuss about
cooperation and assistance.


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