November 2, 2007
MALAYSIA : EXIM
Increase in Seafood Exports to Middle East
Malaysian seafood exports to the Middle East topped 11.7 million dirham (US$3.2 million) last year as a result of the government's efforts to develop the fisheries and aquaculture industry.
To further expand Malaysia's market share in the industry, the country's Department of Fisheries (DOF) is participating in Sea Food Expo 2007 to tap into Dubai's rapidly expanding fisheries sector, which soared to 735 million dirham (RM668 million) last year.
DOF director of planning, development and international division, Mohamad Shaupi Derahman, said the expo was an effective venue to promote the country's products and at the same time expand its market presence.
"The department recognises the promise that our seafood sector holds to establish our country as a major contributor and a top source of high-quality seafood products in the global arena," he said in a statement issued by the expo's organiser Orange Fairs & Events.
Malaysia, he added, was investing in the advancement of its seafood manufacturing processes and augmenting its production in order to fully utilise the potential of the industry.
Malaysia's potential-laden food processing sector represents 10 percent of the nation's total manufacturing output and two-thirds of its total food exports worth RM10 billion.
Last year, DOF allocated RM160 million for the advancement of the country's fisheries breeding, cultivation and processing by prioritising cage culture, hatchery, deep-sea fishing and ornamental fish culture.
As a result, Malaysia has recorded an impressive 3,636.84 metric tonnes of seafood exports with a value of 11.7 million dirham to the Middle East.
Malaysia's seafood products are currently available in 80 countries and the Malaysian seafood market generates an annual revenue of more than RM6 billion.
Malaysia is also setting its sights on further penetrating the global market for halal food, which has an estimated value of over 2.0 trillion dirham through producing, distributing and promoting the country's seafood products at the three-day Sea Food Expo 2007 which ended today.
Some of the high-quality halal seafood products on display at the show are frozen white shrimps, cooked and peeled sea shrimps, cuttlefish and squids, raw peeled shrimps, frozen tiger prawns, surimi-based products and tuna floss.
Meanwhile, Orange Fairs & Events' director Raees Ahmed said the demand for quality seafood products in the Middle East has seen a substantial growth over the years.
Due to the strong demand, especially in the United Arab Emirates, large seafood producers are drawn to the regional market with the aim of exploiting the opportunities in supplying the vast amount of seafood required, he said.
The expo will provide the 12-member DOF delegation with an effective venue to acquire and build a strong reputation in the market and eventually establishing itself as a halal food hub and a leading seafood producer in the world, according to him.