Source halal products from Malaysia, Trade Minister urges French businesses

By Leslean Arshad, NNN-Bernama

Paris : Malaysian International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz has urged the French business community to source “halal” (permitted, in Islam) products from Malaysia to serve the Muslim market in Europe.

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French businessmen can also enter into joint ventures with their Malaysian counterparts to cater to the Muslim community of seven million in France and those in the European Union and Francophone countries, she told a seminar on Business Opportunities in Malaysia heer Thursday.

“Halal products and services are not only for Muslim consumers but also non-Muslims because they meet global standards of quality, product and service integrity, and conform to the market requirements, such as those pertaining to responsible care for the environment and safety standards,” she added.

Rafidah, who is leading a 35-member delegation on a 10-day mission to Paris, Frankfurt and Zurich, said the Malaysian halal standard and the halal logo reflected both the requirements of syariah laws and regulations pertaining to products and services, as well as marketplace requirements.

Rafidah also told the representatives of the French companies to take advantage of Malaysia’s well-developed Islamic banking facilities. “They can use Malaysian banks as a channel to access Islamic banking and financial markets in Asia and other parts of the world, especially in West Asia,” she said.

“The facilities will also provide them the linkages through Islamic financing to support the increasing trade and investment flows between the Gulf states and the rest of the world.”

She said French companies could also to take advantage of the facilities in Malaysia’s Labuan International Offshore Financial Centre (IOFC) to promote financial offshore products and services.

A total of 22 French companies are already established in the Labuan IOFC, comprising four banks, three insurance, one leasing and 14 offshore trading companies. They include BNP Paribas, Calyon, C.C.R. and SCOR Reinsurance Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd.