INSP seeks to match local halal suppliers with international buyers

MITI Sarawak director Griffith Goba (third right) and Norhayati Tahir (fifth right) from Sarawak Ministry of International Trade and eCommerce (MITeC) are seen together with representatives from participating companies.

KUCHING, March 23: Some 217 foreign buyers from 42 countries have confirmed their participation in the International Sourcing Programme (INSP) which is organised in conjunction with the upcoming 15th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2018.

Director of the European and Americas Section of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) Khairul Annuar Abdul Halim said Malaysian suppliers seeking export opportunities during the INSP will need to get in touch with MATRADE as soon as possible if they wish to leverage on this initiative.

“We will provide business-matching services between the Malaysian companies and these foreign buyers at Menara MATRADE on Tuesday, April 3. MIHAS will be held from April 4-7 at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC),” he said today.

The buyers will be pre-selected and recommended by MATRADE’s 47 offices worldwide.

Among the countries involved in the one-day event are China, Australia, India, Japan, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Mauritius, Vietnam, South Korea, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Egypt.

In total, MATRADE will be coordinating more than 2,000 business meetings between local and foreign companies.

“Held every year in conjunction with MIHAS, the INSP is a key component of the trade event alongside its exhibition counterpart where participating Malaysian companies enjoy the privilege of meeting specially invited foreign buyers. The INSP is a cost-effective platform for Malaysian companies to meet potential buyers from around the world in the comfort of their own home country. Over a 10-year period through INSP, MATRADE has gained recognition from the International Trade Centre (ITC) in its ‘Halal Goes Global 2015 Report’ on this initiative.”

According to Khairul, the INSP facilitates business matching for local companies, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), so they can expand their business globally without having to bear hefty travel fees.

“Over the years, we have faithfully turned this annual gathering of buyers and sellers into an important meeting point for our halal exporters and foreign importers to further expand their business horizon in the global market.

“The sectors highlighted at the event include halal consumables (paste, sauces, ready-to-eat meals, and confectionery), non-food products (cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and palm oil-based products), certified premises (hotels, restaurants, central kitchens and slaughterhouses) and Islamic financial services (banking services, takaful and retirement and pension funds),” he added.

The top five Malaysian states recording the highest participation in this year’s INSP are Selangor (42.3 per cent), Kuala Lumpur (17.5 per cent), Johor (11 per cent), Penang (6 per cent) and Melaka (4.1 per cent).

The top five Malaysian states are significant contributers in the food and beverage sector, having contributed the largest number of sales for the INSP.

For this year’s event, MATRADE is targeting to match the outcome generated last year despite the smaller number of buyers in this year’s edition.

Khairul explained that MATRADE is confident that it can repeat last year’s sales of RM301.9 million even with a smaller number of buyers and the associated costs as it has been even more stringent on the buyer-screening process.

“Furthermore, our focus is on new buyers and new markets. This year, for the first time, we are having four companies offering Islamic financial services. This indicates a growing interest to export more halal services and iterates that halal is more than just food and beverages,” he added.

Malaysian companies that are keen to participate, may register for the event by emailing — DayakDaily