Singaporean food distributor My Outlets Pte will meet with Thai small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) food producers this week about importing halal food for distribution in the city-state and worldwide.
Arthit Wuthikaro, director-general of the Industrial Development Department, said the government would select qualified halal food producers to attend the meeting. The meeting is part of the industry’s…
SMEs joining the programme will receive support in terms of know-how for developing the food for international markets, Mr Arthit said. Part of the support will be provided by the food industries club of the Federation of Thailand Industries (FTI).
Club chairman Boonpeang Suntiwattanatan said the FTI outlined strategies to help SMEs increase their ability in driving the economy. “SMEs are estimated to comprise 70% of all companies in Thailand. Half still lack research and development, prompting the FTI to give them a hand,” he said. SME food producers also need assistance in negotiating with foreign importers and exploring markets, so the agency will consult them when negotiating with My Outlets including on exporting expenses.
Mr Boonpeang said the agency had worked with the Commerce and Industry ministries to establish halal food production hubs in the South. Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat have ample raw materials and skilled labour to supply the growing halal food market, he said. With 2 billion Muslims worldwide, the value of halal food is huge at UScopy50 billion a year, but halal food exports from Thailand are only $275 million a year, Mr Boonpeang said. The Commerce Ministry reported the halal market was expected to expand, largely in line with the growing Muslim population, which could reach 2.2 billion in the near future.
The government set up the Halal Food Industrial Estate in Pattani province. The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand opened a one-stop service centre at the estate to attract private investment there. That centre issues the halal GMP/HACCP standard for food.
Originally published on www.bangkokpost.com