GFMM desk: Halal food will be shipped to Japan for the biggest sports event of 2020. Thousands of halal food packets are being prepared, from fried rice to chicken biryani. A small factory in the Malaysian capital is operating here.
Muslim-majority Malaysian food companies are expected to be big winners from the Muslim Travelers crowd at the Olympic and Para-Olympic Games from late July to September.
“It’s a huge platform and opportunity for us. Our intention is not to go in and out. We’ve to go in and stay for the long term” said Ahmad Husaini Hassan, boss of the MyChef Company making the meal packets in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia wants to use the Games as a springboard to boost halal exports, which include food and cosmetics, by about a fifth to $12 billion this year. It exported halal goods worth $604 million to Japan in 2018, 90% of it food and food ingredients.
Malaysia is the only country that has reached a halal/ lawful cooperation agreement with Tokyo for the Games.
MyChef aims to triple its revenue to 4.5 million Ringgit ($1 million) this year. It is in talks with Japanese retailer Aeon to jointly develop a line of ready-to-eat halal meals and snacks, Ahmad Husaini said.
Malaysia’s halal trade lags behind non-Muslim countries like the United States, China and Brazil. According to Dublin-based data firm Research and Markets, the value of the global halal market is expected to reach $ 2.6 trillion by 2023, almost double the 2017 level.
he Malaysian government has set ambitious goals of selling $ 300 million worth of halal food and products to Muslims and non-Muslims around the Games.
It secured a place to host the promotion of “Malaysia Street 2020”, which will allow Japanese buyers and distributors to sell food and interact with companies.
“We have a lot to learn from Malaysian authorities and in return, Malaysian companies have more chances to expand their business,” said Hideto Nakajima, economic counselor at the Japanese embassy in Malaysia.
Tourists from Southeast Asia to Japan, the largest Muslim population in the world, have jumped in recent years for relaxed visa rules.
Malaysia is estimated to have about 8 million Muslims, as Japan looks to draw a record 40 million tourists this year.
For HQC Commerce, the Olympic is a “stepping stone” for big things among the four companies chosen to lead Malaysia’s Halal Push in Japan.
CEO Khairul Shahril Hamza said, “We know demand will be high during the Olympics, so now is the time to promote our Malaysian products”.