Thailand lauds Brunei’s halal brand, seeks joint ventures
| James Kon |
THE strict halal guidelines imposed by Brunei Darussalam has captured the interests of various countries looking to capitalise on the renowned halal reputation of the Sultanate.
Thailand is among those countries aiming to further increase cooperation in the global halal industry. Brunei’s excellent reputation in this field was lauded by Chatchai Viriyavejakul, the Director of Division 1, Department of East Asian Affairs for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand during a briefing for a media familiarisation trip to Thailand at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“Brunei Darussalam has a good reputation in halal branding and Thailand is a major exporter of food products. We can work together towards halal research and share the technologies used in our findings. A lot more can be accomplished in the halal industry.
“With regards to cooperation in the agriculture and cultivation technology, we are aware of Brunei’s firm efforts to improve its agricultural system. We can share the experiences and technology in this area including our understanding of eco-tourism management as Brunei is pursuing more interest there.
“Both countries enjoy good cooperation in the field of defence with frequent visits made by top military officials while participating in discussions on alternative or renewable energy. Thailand is also at the forefront of bio-diesel and solar energy hence, discussions between relevant agencies on information and technology were also held,” Chatchai Viriyavejakul said.
On the issue of labour, he highlighted that around 5,000 Thais are currently working in Brunei. The Ministry of Labour in Thailand is working on drafting a Memorandum of Understanding to implement a systematic way of sending Thai nationals to the Sultanate.
The value of trade between Brunei Darussalam and Thailand stood at an estimated US$269 million dollars in 2011. Last year, Apichart Phetcharatana, the Ambassador of Thailand to Brunei Darussalam highlighted the possibilities of joint venture projects between both nations in the halal industry.
The Thai Ambassador said, “Major Thai companies are planning to discuss the possibilities of a joint venture with Brunei especially in sugar refinery and cooperation in halal food products.
“Thailand has excellent research units and laboratories hence, we want to begin discussions on halal products using the halal brand and expertise from the Sultanate. It will be a win-win situation should the cooperation be fruitful.”