May 15, 2023
South Korea' halal-certified beef anticipated to spur bilateral trade with Malaysia
With the first halal-certified Hanwoo beef exports from South Korea to Malaysia starting next month, bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to increase, and this is expected to spur the republic's export expansion to more Muslim-majority countries.
South Korean Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister (Mafra) Chang Hwang Keun said that following new export products to Malaysia, the trade figures could potentially be higher than last year's record of US$26.7 billion.
"Last year, the trade volume between South Korea and Malaysia reached US$26.7 billion, an increase of approximately US$6 billion or 30% compared to 2021," Chung said. "Although the total export value of Korean beef was about US$30 million last year, we expect positive effects in expanding our exchange as we continue to increase our trade with Malaysia.
"Given the high interest in Korean cuisine, influenced by the Korean wave, including from music and its (television) dramas, we will make efforts to further activate Korean beef exports."
Chang was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a three-day visit to meet government officials and import-related companies to further promote Korean Hanwoo beef exports.
He met his Malaysian counterpart, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Mohamad Sabu, and issued a joint declaration calling for expanding cooperation on food security, smart farming and food exports.
Chang said Malaysia is the first market for halal-certified Korean beef, and there is considerable space for halal beef exports to grow.
"We anticipate further expansion of exports to other countries that require halal certification, such as Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which have already completed negotiations on export inspections," he added. "We plan to make efforts to expand the export of Korean beef to other Islamic countries, including the UAE, by ensuring the necessary certifications and negotiations are in place."
Chang pointed out that after nearly five years of discussions, close monitoring and assistance by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), the two countries have agreed on import hygiene conditions, with Mafra receiving final approval for the deal following inspections from January to February this year.
This latest development, in which Malaysia became the first country to showcase Hanwoo beef, also brought the number of countries able to import Korean beef to four, including Hong Kong, Macau and Cambodia.
Currently, only one slaughterhouse in Hongcheon, Gangwon province, has received halal certification in South Korea.