Tap into Japan’s halal market segment SME told

TOKYO, Oct 21 — More Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SME) should look to penetrate into the halal market segment in Japan, seizing the opportunity of a growing demand for such products here.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin said as the Japanese government was now emphasising on developing its tourism industry, he projected that there would be huge potentials and demand for halal products and services here.

“There will be a lot of visitors coming here and they will be looking for a variety of food.

“Hence we have the opportunity here. Halal products are very acceptable by many people in the world,” he told reporters from Malaysia after chairing a business meeting with Aeon Retail Co Ltd high ranking officials, here, today.

He added that for Malaysian products to be able to be marketed here, the SMEs must be able to meet the criteria of the locals, including in terms of their taste preferences and packaging.            

To facilitate these, he said he would invite Aeon Japan officials to meet and hold talks with Malaysia SMEs on how the local companies could produce and package their products to suit the Japanese market.

“If we can do this, I am believe our products in Japan will improve.

“We can bring a lot more products to Japan, and that will benefit both parties, not only our SMEs but also for Aeon,” he said.

Going forward, the minister said opportunities are abound for Aeon Japan and Malaysia SMEs to expand their partnerships including to develop products for the larger ASEAN consumer market, adding that with its 600 million population, ASEAN is a big market that should be tapped into.

“The future is so big and the opportunities are great, and I am looking forward to work with Aeon to help our SMEs in Malaysia,” he said.

Hamzah who is here for a three-day working visit had earlier launched the Taste of Malaysia at Aeon Makuhari Shintosin, Tokyo.

He said that such programme had successfully promoted Malaysian products especially quality foodstuff to the Japanese.

“Over the years since this Fair started in 2011, more and more of our local products have been brought in by Aeon to be sold here,” he said.

He added that in 2016, Aeon Japan imported 5.5 billion yen worth of products from Malaysia to be sold at its outlets nationwide.

To date, the Taste of Malaysia programme had enabled 159 products from 20 Malayisian companies to be sold throughout five Aeon stores to cater for the Muslim community in Japan. — Bernama