Malaysia aims to boost halal exports ahead of upcoming Japan Olympics

Malaysia aims to boost halal exports ahead of upcoming Japan Olympics

A small factory in Malaysia’s capital is preparing thousands of ready-to-eat halal meals, from fried rice to chicken biryani, to be shipped off to Japan for 2020’s biggest sporting event.

Food firms from Muslim-majority Malaysia, are expected to be big winners from a rush of Muslim travelers to Japan for the Olympics and Paralympic Games, from late July to September.

“It’s a huge platform and opportunity for us,” said Ahmad Husaini Hassan, boss of the MyChef company making the meals in Kuala Lumpur.

“Our intention is not to go in and out. We’ve to go in and stay for the long term.”

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 percent of its food and food ingredients.

Malaysia is the only country to have reached a halal cooperation deal 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 has lagged behind non-Muslim nations such as the United States, China and Brazil. The value of the global halal market is projected to reach $2.6 trillion by 2023, nearly double 2017 levels, according to Dublin-based data firm Research and Markets.

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