ISLAMABAD - Acting High Commissioner of Malaysia to Pakistan, Deddy Faisal Ahmad Salleh on Sunday said that Malaysia has set a target of RM56 billion for export revenue in the halal food industry by 2025 to get benefit the global halal food market.

Malaysia’s current exports in the halal food industry are 35.8 billion RM, which is a huge growth potential according to the size of the global halal market, Malaysian envoy, Deddy Faisal Ahmad Salleh told media here. The Malaysian envoy said that the current size of the global halal market in terms of revenue is $2 trillion was expected to increase to $3 trillion by the year 2027.

He said that there were huge opportunities for cooperation in ‘Halal Food Market’ between Pakistan and Malaysia and this sector in Malaysia had an extensive network of value added industry and multinational companies that could help Pakistan to connect with the global supply chain. Deddy Faisal said that traditionally, halal food includes meat, poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, grains, oil, fats, waxes and confectioneries but it could be sold at competitive price in the global market by bringing value added products.

Replying to a question, he said the Malaysian halal standard is now being widely used by several renowned global multinational companies (MNCs) including Nestlé and Unilever. Malaysia’s halal portfolio has also expanded beyond food and beverage, venturing into various other sectors such as cosmetics, logistics, pharmaceutical and most recently, tourism, he said. He said that the country provided the world’s first halal in-flight catering on board its national carrier, Malaysia Airlines.

Replying to another question, he said that there was a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Malaysia, which had to bring the business communities of both the countries closer to make it more effective. He said that currently, Malaysia had seven bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with the following countries: Australia, Chile, India, Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan and Turkey. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members have established the ASEAN Free Trade (FTA) area also. “I call upon the business community of Pakistan to be the partner and catalyst for reform, to drive sustainability and to contribute to our collective goal of shared prosperity,” he said. He said that his country could play a major role in providing Islamabad with economic and trade opportunities in the Association of East Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional bloc.

Current size of global halal market in terms of revenue is $2tr is expected to increase to $3tr by year 2027

Malaysia will provide wider opportunities for the Pakistani business community to connect with a big market like ASEAN countries, he said. The envoy said that Malaysia could prove to be a gateway in the ASEAN region for Pakistan, which would open up a market for Pakistan with a population of 681 million in the ASEAN region. He also said that Pakistan remains an important economic partner for Malaysia and this was demonstrated most prominently by our bilateral economic, trade and investment relations, which continue to grow from strength to strength despite the global challenges throughout the decades.

He urged both Malaysian and Pakistani businesses, chambers and associations to have more frequent interactions, besides leveraging on each other’s strength and capacity and work together to enrich the value of investments. Deddy Faisal said that Malaysia has always been an open trading nation and preferred investment destination and will continue to remain so driven by our Unique Value Proposition to investors.

He said the trade, at its very foundations, is about people connecting across the world. The envoy said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is optimistic that Malaysia’s economy will expand by 5.75 percent this year, driven by pent-up domestic demand and continued strong external demand. This is in line with the government’s growth projection of between 5.3 percent and 6.3 percent for 2022, he expressed. The High Commissioner said, “Our economy expanded by 3.1 per cent last year.” Malaysia’s financial sector remains resilient and that it was encouraged by its reforms that focused on inclusion, economic transformation, and a sustainable economy, he said. The Malaysian envoy said this was clearly reflective of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s Keluarga Malaysia concept which focuses on inclusion, togetherness and gratitude aimed at bringing the people together in helping the country recover from the debilitating COVID-19.

Replying to another question, he said that Malaysia’s ongoing investment promotion efforts have successfully kept us on the map of investors. “We believe that it is crucial to keep our investment policies relevant, resilient and responsive to the evolving ecosystem,” he said. Faisal said that Malaysia was currently undertaking concerted efforts to review our existing policies and restructure our investment strategy to ensure that implementation of high-impact projects could be expedited. “Our new investment strategies will provide the necessary impetus to pursue high-technology and sustainable investments as well as to intensify innovation, striking a balance between economic and environmental sustainability, while reducing dependency on foreign labour, in line with global benchmarks in environment, social and governance,” he added.