MNCs urged to work with SMEs to market halal products globally: DPM

KUALA LUMPUR: Multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in Malaysia are encouraged to work with local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to market halal products to the global market, said Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He also urged local SMEs to boldly grab the opportunities to work with the MNCs to grow their businesses to the international markets.

"I suggest that local companies seek opportunities to work with MNCs to market their products internationally," he said during the Halal Industry Dialogue Session with the Deputy Prime Minister here today.

He said this was in line with the government's aspiration and commitment to further developing the nation's halal industry to ensure it continued to expand and be at the forefront in terms of production, as well as, provision of halal services.

The halal industry was seen as a two-pronged strategy whereby besides contributing to the country's economy, it had a huge export potential, he said.

Based on this potential, Ahmad Zahid said the government had targeted the number of export-ready SMEs to increase to 1,600 by 2020 compared with 1,257 companies in December last year.

The industry was expected to employ 330,000 workers by 2020 against 248,508 workers as of the end of last year.

Meanwhile, to ensure that the industry is always vibrant with the entry of new players, Ahmad Zahid urged the financial institutions to look not only at the risk in extending loans to the halal companies but also their future potentials.

The half-day dialogue was attended by about 1,000 participants representing the stakeholders in the halal industry from the private sector, non-governmental organisations, academicians and civil servants.

The dialogue aimed to collate feedback, proposals and views from the stakeholders on the direction of the country's halal industry development. — Bernama