M’sia discusses bilateral trade cooperation, role as halal hub with Japan

PUTRAJAYA, May 3 (Bernama) — Malaysia and Japan have discussed bilateral trade cooperation, the agricultural sector and Malaysia’s role as a halal hub that can be beneficial to Japan, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (KPKM).

It said that these topics were discussed by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup and Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Mitsuo Takahashi when Takahashi paid a courtesy call to Arthur at his office here today.

“Arthur welcomed the technical collaboration in the field of research and hoped that the exchange of technology could be streamlined through the existing bilateral cooperation,” it added in a statement today.

The KPKM said the meeting, which lasted almost an hour, also touched on the Japan Food Export Platform, which was recently launched in Malaysia.

“Malaysia is the first Muslim-majority country to be chosen as the location for the Japan Food Export Platform.

“It is hoped that the move will provide opportunities for more Japanese companies to penetrate the halal market and obtain halal recognition,” it added.

The KPKM said Arthur also stated that his ministry was ready to support the effort and, at the same time, sought Japan’s support and assistance to improve the quality of products by local farmers through capacity sharing and training.

It added that Arthur also spoke about Malaysia’s plans to host the second meeting of senior officers for the ASEAN-Japan Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AJMAF) on Aug 7 and the 45th Special Senior Officials Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (SOM-AMAF) from Aug 6-8.

The KPKM said the second meeting is set to discuss the latest developments on collaboration in the ASEAN-Japan MIDORI Cooperation Plan that was agreed upon at the first AJMAF Meeting in 2023.

It added that Arthur had also invited Takahashi to the Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture & Agrotourism Show (MAHA) 2024 to be held from Sept 11-22 as well as inviting Japan to participate in the biennial event.

“Japan, meanwhile, invited Malaysia to participate in the International Horticultural Expo Yokohama to be held in the Kanagawa Prefecture from March 19-Sept 16, 2027,” said the KPKM.

Japan is one of Malaysia’s main trading partners in the agriculture and agro-food sectors. Trade data in 2023 recorded the value of Malaysia’s exports to Japan at RM8.41 billion compared to the value of Japan’s imports to Malaysia of RM2.09 billion, which contributed to a positive trade balance for the country.