The Philippines hopes to earn $5.7 million in export sales at the Malaysian International Halal Showcase (Mihas) 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, next month.
At the sidelines of the Malaysia Business Forum in Makati City on Monday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said several Filipino companies would participate in Mihas, set to run from April 4 to 7.
The fair will feature products that are halal, an Arabic word meaning “permissible” and which refers to food and non-food items prepared according to Islamic law.
The country will mount a 19-booth pavilion housing 28 companies, he added.
“These companies are from the food, personal healthcare, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical sectors,” Lopez said without identifying them.
The sales expected to be generated include “outright sales and/or booked sales within one year,” he added.
“The halal industry is one industry” we are focusing on, Lopez said, adding that the country is lacking in many things in this area.
The Philippines is also pushing for other local products to enter the Malaysian market, the Trade secretary said.
“We have been inviting [Malaysian businessmen to explore opportunities in] power, energy, infrastructure, [and]finance,” he added.
“We want more [Philippine] brands to enter their market,” Lopez said.
The forum gave the Philippines and Malaysia an opportunity to promote stronger economic ties between them.
Total bilateral trade between Manila and Kuala Lumpur reached $5.2 billion in 2017, making Malaysia the country’s the 10th top trading partner, 11th prime export partner, and ninth chief import supplier.
Exports to Malaysia increased by 30 percent from $1.2 billion in 2016 to nearly $1.6 billion last year. Imports rose by 6.8 percent from $3.39 billion in 2016 to $3.62 billion in 2017.
According to Malaysian International Trade Minister Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysian companies are looking at several opportunities in the Philippines.
Some are “interested in the development of a new Manila airport,” while others are “waiting for these proposals to be approved by your government,” Mohamed said without naming them.
It is not proper to identify them now because everything is still in progress, he added.