Cambodia yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysian company PFM Global Venture to boost trade and investment between Cambodia and Malaysia and bolster the kingdom’s capabilities to produce halal food products.
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The new agreement aims to increase economic cooperation and envisions a new forum to connect the business communities of both nations.
Seang Thai, the general director of the Ministry of Commerce’s (MoC) trade promotion department, said the new agreement could prove useful in attracting investors not only from Malaysia, but also from Saudi Arabia, Singapore and China, arguing that PFM Global Venture has a wide network of offices across the world.
PFM Global Venture is in Cambodia leading a business delegation to explore opportunities in the local agriculture and hospitality sectors, Mr Thai explained.
Malik Musharaf, the CEO of PFM Global Ventures, said the MoU seeks to develop Cambodia’s potential in the manufacturing of halal food products.
He said many products manufactured in the kingdom could be produced as halal, but the kingdom lacks the know-how and technology to produce halal products as well as any halal certification.
“Cambodian corn, pepper and rice are of the highest quality standards and enjoy great demand. We are investing to make these products halal so that they can be exported to the Muslim market,” he said.
“The halal food market is worth $7 trillion worldwide,” Mr Musharaf said. “Cambodia has the raw materials, but is lacking key aspects to become a player in the market.”
Mr Musharaf said his company was now working closely with the MoC to develop a halal certification and train the local workforce to adhere to halal principles during the manufacturing process.
“I believe Cambodia could become a heavyweight in the regional halal market when it comes to ingredients and spices,” he said.
In April, Cambodia asked Thailand and Malaysia to help establish halal standards in the country to cater to the rising number of Muslim tourists visiting, especially from the Middle East.