By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
South Korea seeks to deepen bilateral ties with Malaysia in the halal sector, to cater to the rising demand for halal products and services in the Republic.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said there are unlimited economic benefits that can be obtained by both countries, especially in the halal market and information technology (IT) sector.
Moon, who was on a three-day working visit to Kuala Lumpur which began on Tuesday, said Malaysia’s “Look East Policy” and the republic’s “New Southern Policy” launched in 2017 could join forces to form a stronger economic relationship.
Speaking at a Malaysia-South Korea Business Forum yesterday, Moon said Malaysia’s halal market has a vast potential to expand in South Korea, as demand continues to grow in the republic.
“The Korean culture or hallyu, together with the Malaysian expertise in the halal sector, could be combined to reach a bigger market.
“Malaysia is a well-known halal leader. Through the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia, the Malaysian government has been actively promoting the halal industry and produces the best halal certification in the world,” he said.
On the collaboration in the IT sector, Moon said South Korean companies plan to establish a virtual reality (VR) centre in the proposed smart city development in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
The smart city project is an Asean-backed project currently developed by the republic. A memorandum of understanding to explore the development was inked on Wednesday witnessed by Moon and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“The strong relationship between the two countries will reach a new horizon in the economic advancement.
“South Korea and Malaysia will collaborate on the IT sector to build a VR centre which will boost the economies of both countries,” said Moon.
Meanwhile, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking said a total of 371 manufacturing projects from South Korea, as of September 2018, were estimated to be worth US$7.79 billion (RM31.86 billion).
“These projects have provided more than 52,000 job opportunities for the country. The presence of South Korean investors has been exceptionally strong in the industries, such as the electrical and electronics, basic metal and petroleum products which include petrochemicals and chemical,” he said.