Malaysia keen to import agriculture products from Zimbabwe
Sikhulekelani Moyo, [email protected]
ZIMBABWEAN firms scored big at the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2023 held in Kuala Lumpur last week as it has emerged that Malaysia is eager to import agricultural products from the country, the national trade development and promotion agency, ZimTrade has said.
Local firms made their inaugural exhibition at the flagship exhibition themed “Paving the Way of Halal” and graced by 470 buyers and 40 countries including from the Middle East, Europe, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, the Americas, and Africa region.
MIHAS comprises pre-arranged one-to-one business meetings, both physical and virtual, which connect international buyers with Malaysian suppliers of Halal products and services.
MIHAS is one of the leading global halal trade exhibitions serving as a platform for industry players, businesses, and consumers to explore emerging trends, foster international trade, and exchange knowledge.
Halal is a dietary standard set within Islam, and Muslims are expected to conform to the dietary rules set in this standard.
Hence there is an advantage of having food products and their preparation inspected and confirmed as meeting the standard.
Globally, Halal market is estimated at US$3 trillion, while in Malaysia, it was valued at US$68,4 billion in 2018 and is projected to increase to US$113,2 billion by 2030.
This presents a huge opportunity for Zimbabwe which seeks to diversify its exports.
ZimTrade Southern region manager Mrs Jacqueline Nyathi said the Zimbabwe pavilion was a hive of activity as scores of buyers visited to inquire what the country could offer in terms of fresh produce and other organic products.
“The purpose of participating in the event was for us to get an understanding and appreciation of the Halal market not just in Malaysia but also in the region as a whole. In terms of traffic to the stand, we saw a number of companies and individuals coming through to experience what Zimbabwe has to offer in terms of fresh produce such as peas, chilies, honey products, moringa products and other well-known brands such as Mazoe and Tanganda tea,” said Mrs Nyathi.
“It was heartening to hear visitors encouraging us to trade with Malaysia and ensure that we do all the necessary paperwork in terms of getting the Halal certifications to be able to lend our products in their markets. The market is huge particularly for herbal and honey products and for anything organic because you find out that Malaysia imports at least 90 percent of what it is consuming.
“They explained that because of the inflation and challenges being faced in the European market, they are finding themselves having to identify other source markets which is an opportunity for us as Zimbabwe.”
Mrs Nyathi said the Zimbabwean embassy in Malaysia played a key role in facilitating meetings between ZimTrade and other key stakeholders in the market, including the Halal Development Cooperation which gave them insights on how to secure Halal certifications to be able to be accepted in the market. We also had a meeting with the National Chamber of Commerce which was keen to explore trade opportunities as well as trade investments in Zimbabwe. — @SikhulekelaniM1