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Malaysian SMEs seek access to Qatari market; talks underway, says trade official

Peter Alagos

Monday، 11 October 2021 08:04 PM

Plans are in the pipeline to forge partnerships between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Qatar and Malaysia to bolster further growth of Malaysian halal brands in the Qatari market, said Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz, CEO of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade).
Similarly, Abdul Aziz said plans are afoot for knowledge exchange and sharing of best practices between Qatari and Malaysian SMEs, as well as visits between business delegations of both countries to explore investment opportunities related to the halal industry.
“Matrade is currently in the midst of discussion with Qatar Chamber to jointly organise a webinar between top management from Matrade and the chamber to promote growing sectors in both countries,” Abdul Aziz told Gulf Times.
He said the proposed collaboration is expected to enable direct access and communication between Qatari companies and Malaysian SMEs for knowledge-sharing and exchanges that will allow companies from both countries to leverage business opportunities in the areas of the halal industry, building material, furniture, and services initially through electronic platforms until restrictions for cross-border are relaxed.
“We are also planning to collaborate with major hypermarkets in Qatar to expand the variety of Malaysian products, especially in halal food and beverages. This will give the opportunity for the business community in Qatar to reach our products through online and offline platforms,” he explained.
During the 17th edition of the ‘Malaysia International Halal Showcase’ (Mihas 2021), the event underscored the potential of Malaysia’s SME sector in becoming “global halal champions.”
Abdul Aziz said that in July Matrade co-ordinated a Trade and Investment Mission to Qatar led by Malaysia’s Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry to further strengthen trade ties between Malaysia and Qatar.
“We had also arranged high-level meetings with renowned conglomerates in Qatar to pave the way for our SMEs to offer their products and services to the Qatari market,” Abdul Aziz noted.
He said Matrade is “currently working closely” with top retailers and Fast-Moving Consumer Good (FMCG) buying houses in Qatar to position the entry of Malaysian halal brands into the country “in a well, orderly manner.”
“Generally, we will generate a list of potential brands to the targeted Qatari companies for their shortlisting and we will then arrange an online meeting under our virtual business matching programme ‘eBizMatch’.
“Through our eBizMatch programme, Matrade has organised various buyer-seller engagements aggressively via digital platforms to ensure that Malaysian companies have access to international buyers even during the travel restriction periods amid the Covid-19 pandemic,” Abdul Aziz added.

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