Sime Darby, MMC team up for halal exports to China
Malaysian companies to collaborate on port management
CK TAN, Nikkei staff writer
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.
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.