The Political scenario of India is not good at the moment and business groups are looking for other options. How do you see the Indian Economy shaping in these scenarios?
MATRADE, the National Trade Promotion Agency for Malaysia, believes that India offer huge business opportunities for both Malaysian and Indian companies. No doubt that there are opportunities and challenges in doing business in any countries, regardless of their political and economic scenarios. In India, the business scenario is quite exciting and challenging for any businesses to grow, especially in the current situation. There are a lot of incentives and assistance being offered by the Government of India (GOI) to develop the local MSMEs and Start-Ups. My suggestion for the business groups is to leverage on their strengths, identify possible challenges and focus on the potential demand and opportunities which can really expand their businesses further. To begin with, they need to tap on the market access, especially in States or Cities in India where a significantly large number of Muslim population can offer the business groups with better demand for Halal products and services. States, such as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Maharashtra and Kashmir are some of the areas in India where significant numbers of Muslim communities reside.
Malaysia has become a hub for the world of Halal businesses and India lacks in terms of awareness about it. How can India achieve such a fate in this segment?
Malaysia possesses many unique advantages in developing and promoting Halal products and services and is considered as a moderate and progressive Islamic & business-friendly country by both, Muslim and non-Muslim global communities. Malaysian players in the Halal Businesses have refined necessary processes, done the groundwork and devised quality frameworks that serve as the foundation of Malaysia’s positioning as a leader in the global Halal industry and not just amongst Islamic nations.
Overcoming the lack of awareness on Halal Business in India can be served through education and promotion of Halal Businesses. To do so, the Business Communities and Chamber of Commerce and Industry here need to take necessary initiatives to educate and promote the Halal Industry to the targeted community. The platforms for creating the awareness can begin with Trade Exhibitions and Seminars on Halal Industry which may help to create the exposure needed for Halal Businesses to grow. In 2018, India was one of the top exporters of Halal Buffalo Beef valued at US$3.31 Billion (1.1 million tonne of Buffalo Beef exports).
The Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIE), the number of Muslim people in the world number is projected to double to 3 billion by 2060, presenting a massive opportunity for more world economies to get involved in the Halal industry. In addition, the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) as the Premier Halal Industry Platform for Halal Businesses brings with it international visitors, traders on the same forum. MIHAS also creates and delivers business opportunities across the global Halal markets including Halal Food, Islamic Finance, Halal Pharmaceuticals, Halal Cosmetics & Fashion, Halal Tourism & Halal Logistics. In Malaysia, MATRADE, Halal Development Corporation (HDC) and Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM) that help to promote and provide the required support as well as incentives for the Malaysian companies to grow their Halal Businesses. These agencies also offer Malaysian companies training, market access information and product certification for their Halal Businesses to grow.
MATRADE has a worldwide presence. How business groups can benefit from MATRADE?
As one of the key stakeholders in the Malaysian Halal industry, MATRADE works towards establishing Malaysia as a global hub for the Halal industry, with a strong focus on the potential to build export revenues for home-grown players in the Halal industry. Through our 46 global offices, MATRADE assist Malaysian companies to establish their presence overseas and raise their profiles in foreign markets via various promotional drives including participation in trade missions, export acceleration missions and international trade fairs, market intelligence reports and product market studies and update our Malaysian exporters with the latest business trends and opportunities. In addition to that, MATRADE also organises business matching programmes for Malaysian companies and foreign importers. Being the national agency for trade promotion, MATRADE is often the first reference point for enquiries and visits by foreign importers and to match them with compatible local partners who can offer the products and services. For MIHAS 2020, there will be Inward Buying Mission (IBM) program whereby buyers from all over the world will be invited to take part in one-to-one business meeting program. And we would encourage companies in India to take part as exhibitors in MIHAS. (Please visit the MIHAS website for more information.)
If one wants to do business in Malaysia, How MATRADE can help in terms of legal compliance?
As the national trade promotion agency, our main role is to promote Malaysian’s enterprises to the world. Simply put, it is more on promoting Malaysia’s products and services to the global market via various export promotional activities, such as export acceleration missions and international trade fairs. Apart from that, MATRADE also provides business advisory services to foreign companies seeking information on guidelines to establish a company in Malaysia, provide insights on Malaysia’s trade & services and a link to bridge foreign buyers with Malaysia suppliers.
Recently, a kind of political war of words is seen between India and Malaysia. How do you look at that development?
MATRADE needs to be professional in executing our tasks and responsibilities in promoting trade and businesses between Malaysia and India. We need to stay focused and continue to promote our trade with India in line with our mission and vision. We are not in the position to comment on the political issue related to Malaysia and India.
Due to lack of awareness among Indian business groups, people are unaware of the kind of businesses they could do in Malaysia. Would you help them in exploring business opportunities in your country?
As mentioned earlier, MATRADE is being tasked to promote Malaysian products and services in the overseas market. Our objectives are to raise the profile of Malaysian exporters abroad and to introduce Malaysian companies to the foreign importers. On top of that, MATRADE is also actively assisting foreign companies to fulfil their sourcing needs by providing relevant information of Malaysia suppliers. We are also very well represented in 46 locations in major commercial cities. In India, our roles are being represented by our offices in Mumbai and Chennai. Malaysia also have its representatives from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) which is located in New Delhi. Their roles are to ensure continuous efforts, initiatives and concerns are being taken care and carried out to foster a good business relationship between Malaysia and India.
What investment opportunities Malaysia offers for an Indian investors?
Our sister agency, known as Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA), which has been entrusted by the Malaysian Government to promote and attract foreign investors to do business in Malaysia. Some of the incentives being offered by MIDA for companies investing in Malaysia include Incentives for Production of Halal Food, Incentive for Halal Park Operator, Incentives for Halal Industry Players and Incentives for Halal Logistics Operators. All applications for these incentives must be submitted to MIDA for further processing.