Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), an agency under Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Weifang Sime Darby Port Co., Ltd., China (WSD) on 21 July 2017 with the aim to develop Halal compliant infrastructure at Weifang Sime Darby Port and an industrial park in accordance with Malaysia’s Halal standards.
WSD is a 99%-owned subsidiary of Malaysia’s Sime Darby Berhad, a multinational conglomerate with businesses in the plantation, property, industrial equipment, motors and logistics sectors. HDC will be working with both WSD in China and Sime Darby Berhad in Malaysia to further strengthen Malaysia’s leadership in the Halal industry, particularly in Halal logistics services.
The MoU was signed by Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin, HDC Chief Executive Officer and Timothy Lee Chi Tim, Chairman of WSD.
The collaboration will facilitate the penetration of Malaysian Halal products into the One Belt One Road (OBOR) network for wider market reach in Northern and Western regions of China, as well as neighbouring countries.
Recent OBOR initiatives aim to create the world’s largest platform for economic cooperation, including policy alignment, trade promotion and financing collaboration, as well as for social and cultural exchange.
Weifang Sime Darby Port’s close proximity to the OBOR network provides an added advantage to the “halal corridor” with links to Muslim regions in China, making Weifang Sime Darby Port the gateway for import and export of halal products. As part of the MOU, HDC will share its expertise and offer training and consultancy services to WSD. This joint effort is expected to benefit Malaysian exporters in expanding their halal businesses worldwide.
According to Jamil, Malaysia’s Halal exports grew by 7.1% to RM42.18 billion in 2016. Total exports to China amounted RM5.4 billion and was featured as the largest export markets in 2016. Halal export is expected to grow 5 to 6% this year. Malaysia exports cosmetics & personal care, food & beverage, palm oil derivatives, pharmaceuticals, Halal ingredients and industrial chemicals to China.