Vietnam should focus on Malaysia for exports, especially food and beverages, during the post-pandemic economic recovery. This was the message echoed by speakers at a workshop held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 2, 2022.
Tran Phu Lu, Deputy Director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of HCM City, said Vietnam and Malaysia have the potential to enhance economic, trade, and investment relations.
In 2021, Vietnam ranked 11th among trade partners and 7th among the export markets of Malaysia, with bilateral trade reaching 11.8 billion USD. They are striving for 25 billion USD in trade revenue by 2030. However, these figures remain modest compared to the potential the two countries have.
The Halal industry in Malaysia was valued at 3.1 billion USD in 2021 and is forecast to hit 5 billion USD by 2030, offering a promising export market for Vietnamese enterprises to capitalize on.
Tran Viet Thai, Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia, said the country had COVID-19 under control and reopened, but it is also facing disrupted supply chains due to the impacts of the pandemic and the Russia – Ukraine conflict.
In March this year, Malaysia increased the quota for milled rice imports from Vietnam to 700,000 tonnes per year from 520,000 tonnes. From an exporter of chicken to many neighboring countries, Malaysia has had to halt export and seek other supply sources.
Recent disruptions to old supply chains have also led to demand for new ones. This provides an opportunity for other countries like Vietnam to promote exports to Malaysia.
Malaysia has great demand for rice, chicken, and many other agricultural and food products. To access this market, Vietnamese exporters should meet food quality and safety criteria, such as Halal standards.
Echoing the view, Halim Bin Husin, head of the Malaysian federation of commerce chambers, noted the country has considerable demand for imported food, beverages, and Halal products, while Vietnam has many advantages for exporting these products.
Besides, Halal products are consumed not only in Malaysia but also in many other Islamic countries. There are about 1.9 billion Muslims globally, and the demand for Halal products increases by 8 – 9 percent each year, he added.
Will Vietnam be able to take advantage of the abundant opportunities Malaysia offers in agriculture and other food products? The country has been eyeing a bigger share of the global Halal market for some time now.