By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS
The Malaysian halal food industry should keep tabs with the rising demand for halal market in Japan, with the demand generated from the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020 alone is estimated at US$300 million (RM1.23 billion).
Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said the local halal industry players should remain avid in learning the Japanese food industry, to remain competitive and seek opportunities in accommodating the rising demand.
“We wish to see more entrepreneurs who are not only able to produce products and services for the halal market, but are able to fill in the role of vendors and suppliers to the multinational companies,” he said when launching the Malaysia Halal Expo (MHE) 2019 yesterday.
“For example, we have existing infrastructure in several parts of Japan such as halal hubs built by Halal Industry Development Corp (HIDC) which are underutilised, and we could transform that into official collection centre for the Olympics,” he added.
In 2017, Malaysia’s halal export to Japan reached RM2.8 billion and is expected to surpass RM3.7 billion in 2020.
Mohd Redzuan said there are seven Japanese certification bodies which are recognised by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), to assist local businesses who are seeking halal qualifications in Japan and to meet the required standards.
“The halal industry today is estimated to be worth about US$6.4 trillion with an average 20% annual growth, and the Japanese government is very much aware of that.
“There are incentives given to companies investing in halal certification, for instance, an initiative by the Taito City office which reimburses 50% of the certification cost,” the minister added.
Meanwhile in his speech, Japan’s Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Makio Miyagawa said Japan has projected the halal market to generate US$300 million worth of businesses during the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
“About 50 years ago, the basic principle of our negotiation was not to import foreign agricultural products.
“But now, we are welcoming halal products and exporters from Malaysia as US$300 million, or 45% of the total value is projected to be derived from the halal market at the Tokyo Olympic.”
Miyagawa said the halal concept is no longer a foreign subject to Japanese foodmakers, as rising interest has been recorded by the embassy.
“The number of Japanese investors reaching out to the embassy has increased as they are more interested to learn about halal manufacturing, processes, and concept.
He added that the recent surge in tourists to Japan has contributed to the growth of the halal market, which increased Japanese businesses’ commitment to serve halal food consumers.
“There has been a recent surge in visitors to Japan, having reached 31 million of tourists from all over the world last year. Of the figure, 460,000 visitors are from Malaysia and this was achieved by the accommodative food business,” he said.