May 16, 2017 9:47 pm JST

Sime Darby, MMC team up for halal exports to China

Malaysian companies to collaborate on port management

CK TAN, Nikkei staff writer

Weifang Sime Darby Port on China’s Bohai Sea coast will almost triple its capacity by 2020 and be home to China’s first halal industrial park.

KUALA LUMPUR -- Two Malaysian companies operating ports are joining forces to service the halal market in China, which has over 30 million Muslims.

Northport and Weifang Sime Darby Port announced on Monday a memorandum of understanding to facilitate halal shipments from Malaysia to China.

Northport, a unit of utilities and infrastructure group MMC, is about an hour from Kuala Lumpur, while Weifang in Shandong, eastern China, is a unit of Sime Darby, a plantation conglomerate.

Malaysia is targeting 50 billion ringgit ($11.6 billion) in halal exports by 2020, up from 39.3 billion ringgit in 2016.

Sime Darby has set aside a 2.7 sq.km area at Weifang for China's first halal industrial park. Construction will start in the next financial year, which begins in July.

"Halal is a big business and this partnership aims to capture a market that is growing by 10% a year," said Bakke Salleh, Sime Darby's president and group chief executive.

Weifang on the Bohai Sea is the gateway to China's hinterland areas with Muslim populations -- Henan, Ningxia, Gansu, and Xinjiang. Sime Darby is expanding the port's capacity from 32 million metric tons last year to 80 million metric tons annually by 2020.

Northport is already a halal logistics hub with dedicated facilities certified by religious authorities. The port's throughput capacity grew 14% last year to 3.22 million 20 foot container

services to halal entrepreneurs wishing to market their products to China," said equivalent units.

"Northport's extensive connectivity is suited for the role as the main gateway to provide integrated logistics," said Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Northport's chairman.

The companies said China's Belt and Road Initiative to expand trade and investment will give them "added advantage" to tap into halal markets in other regions.

Asia300

MMC Corp. Bhd.

Malaysia

Market(Ticker): KLS(2194)
Sector:
Industry:
Industrial Services
Engineering & Construction
Market cap(USD): 1,768.53M
Shares: 3,045.05M
Asia300

Sime Darby Bhd.

Malaysia

Market(Ticker): KLS(4197)
Sector:
Industry:
Distribution Services
Wholesale Distributors
Market cap(USD): 14,709.19M
Shares: 6,800.83M

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