Indonesia has invited Malaysian companies to cooperate in developing its halal food industry to strengthen both economies.
Indonesia’s Deputy Villages, Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Minister Budi Arie Setiadi said Malaysia had extensive experience and involvement in the industry, while Indonesia had vast amounts of resources and materials, which could be utilized for mutual benefit.
“We invite Malaysian companies to discuss with the ministry on the potential of this cooperation,” he said while talking to Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Zainal Abidin Bakar in Jakarta today.
Zainal Abidin said the embassy would inform the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry Malaysia (Miti) to follow up on the proposal.
“The discussion with Budi Arie and his delegation also touched on opportunities for cooperation in agro-business, agricultural technology development, as well as efforts to recover sectors of mutual interest which have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo previously stated that the country was still lagging behind Malaysia in terms of the halal pfood industry even though it had the largest Muslim population in the world.
Jokowi, when launching the Indonesian Sharia Economic Masterplan (Meksi) 2019-2024 last year, had said the country’s target was to become the fourth largest sharia economic power in the world by 2045.
“But to get there is not an easy task. There are many obstacles (challenges) and big questions that need to be resolved, we are still far (behind). We are still behind Malaysia and several other countries in terms of halal ecosystem and other infrastructure,” he said.