Australian exporters are set to gain greater access to Malaysia's rapidly-growing halal food sector thanks to a new Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and Malaysia's Halal Development Corporation.
Paul Sanda, Austrade senior trade and investment commissioner to Malaysia and Brunei, said the MoU would open commercial pathways for Australian exporters across the ASEAN region as global demand for halal products and services increases.
"This will also help to develop increased information exchanges and deepen commercial collaborations, leading to long-term, mutually beneficial outcomes for businesses in both Australia and Malaysia," said Sanda.
"With the Malaysian Government committed to developing Malaysia as a leading halal industry centre of excellence and manufacturing hub, Australian businesses are well-placed to supply halal certified ingredients and raw materials to both the manufacturing and food service sectors. It also opens potential for greater services trade.
"Australia's world-class food security frameworks and supply chain integrity are integral to supporting these initiatives. Working with Malaysian businesses will help to unlock other opportunities within ASEAN and with other markets across the globe.
"Understanding the value halal certification can bring to a brand is important. This agreement with HDC also seeks to create increased collaboration in marketing, education and training for businesses to assist with building their brands."
In 2020, Australia's exports of goods and services to Malaysia totalled approximately $10 billion.
With rising disposable incomes and a desire for high-quality products and services, there are growing opportunities for Australian businesses in Malaysia, and beyond. The ASEAN region is home to around 240 million Muslims, and globally the halal market is projected to increase from its current value of $4 trillion to $7 trillion in 2030.
Hairol Ariffein, HDC chief executive officer, said this collaboration supported the broader future scope of economic cooperation between the halal ecosystem business communities in both Malaysia and Australia, while simultaneously providing opportunities in new and innovative business areas.
"Our agreement is not only about sharing business insights and commercial partnership opportunities. Importantly, it will also include projects to enhance broader trade imperatives, exchange of market intelligence and know-how, potential investment in Halal Industry Parks, training and consultancy services; and cooperation on dedicated halal business events," Mr Ariffein said.
Sanjay Boothalingam, Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment counsellor for agriculture Malaysia and Brunei, said Australia's reputation for supplying high quality, halal compliant produce underpinned by world leading food safety standards combined with Malaysia's global leadership on halal matters make us ideal partners to take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us.
"This MoU is an important milestone that will help strengthen the two-way trade in halal products to benefit both our economies," Boothalingam said.
This MoU supports the Agribusiness Expansion Initiative, the Australian government's $72.7 million initiative to help achieve sustainable growth and resilience in Australia's agribusiness exports. ABEI funding supports the Australian agriculture sector's ambition to increase the value of farm gate output to $100 billion by 2030.
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