Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) is taking the halal agenda globally during the Expo 2020 Dubai by focusing on bringing together businesses to capture business-to-business (B2B) opportunities, as well as seeking government-to-government (G2G) cooperation.
Khaleej Times spoke to Madam Sharimahton, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MATRADE, regarding the strengthening of bilateral trade ties between Malaysia and the UAE, the Southeast Asian nation’s largest trading partner in the Middle East.
Edited excerpts from the interview: The UAE-Malaysia bilateral trade has grown by 21 per cent to $6 billion (Dh22.04 billion). What are the sectors that have seen robust growth, despite the raging Covid-19 pandemic?
The UAE’s fast recovery from Covid-19 pandemic, opening of the international borders to traffic are a few reasons for the uptake in exports.
The growth is also driven by increased demand in palm oil, food stuff and Halal products. Covid-19 has taught people to keep themselves clean – with new health, safety and social distancing protocol. Halal products gained more prominence during this period.
We view the UAE as a very important economic gateway for Malaysian products. It is our largest trading partner in the Middle East.
Malaysian food products are well accepted in the region due to halal factor and their high quality. However other sectors have also seen huge growth since January.
Palm oil, electrical and electronic products, rubber products, gold jewellery are some of the sectors that have recorded high growth during the first nine months of this year.
Over the past few years, the UAE has been positioning itself as the centre of the global halal food industry, taking advantage of its strategic location, while also taking a leadership role in defining international quality standards and processes for this growing sector.
The UAE leadership has the vision to position Dubai as the capital of Islamic economy in the region. —Khaleej Times