The Halal Development Corporation Berhad (HDC) and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) have today entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This agreement aims to enhance bilateral relations through collaborative efforts on Halal matters under the Look East Policy 2.0 framework. This initiative will further promote trade and investment activities, offering broader market access opportunities for Halal industry entities in both nations.
The MoU was signed in the context of the visit of KOTRA’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Yu Jeoung Yeol, to Malaysia. Representing HDC at the signing was its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Hairol Ariffein Sahari. The event was also graced by Mr. Lee Sung Gi, the Director General of KOTRA. This MoU signifies a continuation of the initial agreement signed in 2019 and highlights Malaysia’s commitment to cooperate internationally to tap into and expand the potential of businesses serving the burgeoning global Halal market, projected to be worth USD 5 trillion by 2030.
South Korea holds the position of Malaysia’s tenth-largest Halal trading partner. The total value of Malaysian halal exports over the past five years (2018-2022) amounts to RM7.24 billion. In 2022, the value of Malaysia’s Halal exports to South Korea reached RM2.13 billion, a notable increase from RM1.23 billion in the previous year. Halal Ingredients remained the leading export, accounting for RM1.19 billion, followed by Food and Beverages (RM819 million), and cosmetics and personal care products (RM64.35 million).
KOTRA’s President and CEO, Mr. Yu Jeoung Yeol, expressed optimism about the partnership, stating that KOTRA is keen on collaborating with HDC to bolster Korean and Malaysian enterprises in the Halal Industry.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2022, HDC has actively promoted Malaysian halal-certified products to South Korean buyers through online business matching, recording a sales potential of RM38 million. HDC also participated in the Seoul Food and Hotel event in 2019, 2021, and 2022 to physically promote the Malaysia Halal brand and halal-certified products. These global platforms enable Malaysian exporters to penetrate the South Korean market and those in neighboring countries.
HDC has suggested comprehensive knowledge and skill transfer initiatives for developing the halal ecosystem. These include consultancy, training programs, and digital market access to halal products and services under the Halal internationalization and networking programs linked to the Korean market.
Plans include a series of online webinars to share knowledge, which will also benefit Muslim-Friendly Hospitality Services in welcoming Muslim tourists. Currently, two Halal Certification Bodies in South Korea, the Korean Muslim Federation (KMF) and Korea Halal Authority Corporation (KHA) are recognized by the Malaysian government through JAKIM.