Being a Muslim-majority country, Malaysia’s footprints in the halal industry are further supported by its close relationship with other Islamic countries, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Malaysia is keen to explore more opportunities in the kingdom and recently had some of its entrepreneurs participating in the Saudi International Halal Expo 2022, facilitated by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE).
Also attending the expo was the Ambassador of Malaysia to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Datuk Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah, who supported the exhibitors at the Malaysia Pavilion.
“As the ambassador of Malaysia to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we have a big task to ensure the relationship between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia is increased or strengthened in all fields,” said Zaidi at the event.
“For example, today we are at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Centre. We are giving support for the enhancement of economic relations, especially in the promotion of trade and investments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“We are assisting Malaysian companies in getting introduced in this kingdom. We facilitate them to participate in trade expos and meet with local businessmen in Saudi Arabia.”
Bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Malaysia
Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have been enjoying an excellent political relationship and expanding to cover good economic and trade exchanges.
A total of US$179.3 million worth of manufactured food and beverages exports were made in 2021 from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia.
“We can notice that the trade exchange between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia is quite significant. Malaysia is still one of the biggest importers of Saudi Arabia’s petroleum and petroleum products. But we also sell our products to this country, such as palm oil, derivatives, and electrical and electronic products.
“Now, we have a new area of products: processed food. As you know, Saudi relies on imports for food products and so on. We see an increase in terms of processed food products or something related to food processing from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia.
“We are confident that this positive increase in our share of processed food in Saudi Arabia will continue to grow soon,” Zaidi elaborated.
Potential for Malaysia’s halal industry in Saudi Arabia
He noted that Saudi Arabia was one of the biggest consumers of halal products. Anything that needs to be exported into the kingdom, especially food, would have to follow halal requirements set by Saudi Arabia.
“In this case, there’s an extreme opportunity for Malaysia’s halal industry to grow in a big way because we have a considerable market of halal products here in Saudi Arabia and the rest of Middle East countries.
“I hope all Malaysian entrepreneurs, businesses and others start looking at this market in Saudi Arabia, or the Middle East in general, because of their potential. Our embassy in Riyadh and consulate and trade offices in Jeddah will assist Malaysian companies and businesses in entering the Saudi Arabia market and the Middle East.”
Among Malaysian companies that exhibited at the Saudi International Halal Expo were Fikrisz (M) Sdn Bhd, Fitness Way Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Hassan Majid, MFaez Food Industries Sdn Bhd, SKA Sdn Bhd, Lega Health Sdn Bhd, Koperasi Usahawan Groom Big Kedah Bhd, Mygerak Global Sdn Bhd, Shariffah Industries and Fawn Food Global Sdn Bhd.