Vietnam is seeking opportunities to enter the US$7-trillion Malaysian Halal market by exporting food products to its Muslim-majority neighbor.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh told his Malaysian counterpart Anwar Ibrahim on Thursday that Vietnam is ready to be a sustainable and long-term rice provider to Malaysia.
Vietnam also wants Malaysia’s help in developing its own Halal industry, and is willing to sign memorandums to realize this goal, Chinh added during Ibrahim’s official two-day visit to Vietnam on Thursday and Friday.
Malaysian businesses have shown enthusiasm about the potentials of such cooperation.
“As Vietnam and Malaysia increase partnership in the Halal food industry, it is important that both sides speed up progress to take opportunities,” Angus Liew Bing Fooi, vice president of Malaysia Business Chamber Vietnam, told VnExpress.
The two countries’ 50 years of diplomatic relations (1973-2023) have laid a solid foundation for partnership in many industries including oil and gas, electronics, automotive, tourism, renewable energy and Halal, which refers to food and beverage allowed to be consumed by Muslims, he added.
Southeast Asia has the largest Muslim population in the world by region at 277 million people.
More than 60% of the Malaysian population are Muslims and the Halal industry contributed to around 7.5% of this country’s GDP, according to World Bank data.
Angus Liew said that Vietnam has strengths in food production and exports, while Malaysia can provide expertise on how Vietnamese exporters can acquire Halal certificates.
Malaysia can also help Vietnam reach more Halal markets in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other parts of the world, he added.
The Halal market is valued at $7 trillion globally and is set to reach $10 trillion by 2028.
Anwar’s visit to Vietnam is therefore an important milestone in Vietnam-Malaysia relations that could lead to even further business partnerships in the future.
Malaysia is Vietnam’s second largest trade partner in ASEAN, and is ninth globally. Bilateral trade reached $14.68 billion last year, up 17.4% from 2021.
Both PMs have agreed to bring this figure to $18 billion by 2025.
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