Matrade eyes halal market in South Korea

There is interest among local SMEs to explore the South Korean market, says CEO


MALAYSIA External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) will be exploring the potential of the halal market in South Korea.

Its CEO Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz (picture) said there is interest among local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to explore the South Korean market in terms of pushing halal products and services.

“A few South Korean companies have approached halal producers in Malaysia and proposed for them to start looking at the South Korean market because halal is not just about catering to Muslims, but it also has to do with cleanliness which ignites their interest,” he said in a virtual press conference for the upcoming Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas 2021) yesterday.

Mohd Mustafa said players in the halal industry have a big advantage as they are not just catering to the Muslim world, but are able to cater non-Muslim markets as well.

“We see South Korea as a destination that we should further explore. Northeast Asian countries are looking seriously in terms of developing their halal industry.

“We have great potential in these markets and we are looking forward to exploring them aggressively and one of the ways for us to know the interest and demand is by participating in some of their major events,” he said.

Commenting on Mihas 2021, Matrade deputy CEO (export acceleration) Sharimahton Mat Saleh said for foreign markets who are looking at the halal industry, the opportunity that it offers is huge and increasing rapidly.

“We would like the foreign markets to look at halal as a unit value proposition, not only for the Islamic ethical values because the halal economy represents a quality assurance.

“It also embraces sustainable development goals — if you look at halal in totality, it has elements of inclusiveness, data integrity, and safety cleanliness, which are all appealing to the Muslim and non-Muslim communities,” she said.

For the first time ever, Mihas will be presented in a digital format from Sept 9 to Dec 31, 2021.

Matrade chairman Tan Sri Dr Halim Mohammad said as of Sept 4, a total of 549 exhibitors have confirmed their participation in the virtual exhibition with 52% or roughly 303 are international exhibitors from 43 countries.

The top five countries are Indonesia with 45 exhibitors, China (25), the Philippines (20), South Korea (18) and Thailand (16).

Meanwhile, the top five clusters with confirmed exhibitors are food and beverages with 327 exhibitors, services and enablers (51), cosmetics and personal care (39), modest fashion (38), and food technology (38).

“Mihas plays a very big part in the development of the halal industry, not only for Malaysia but for the whole world as it is a platform to demonstrate industry players’ capabilities.

“We look forward to fortifying Malaysia’s position as a global halal hub with another successful showcase this year which will be a positive beacon amid the challenging environment,” said Halim.