THE halal supply chain in the Netherlands for products from Malaysia - a collaboration between Port Klang and the Port of Rotterdam - is expected to be established in six months.
Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) director Bas Pulles said the halal supply chain at the Port of Rotterdam is needed to tap the growing halal food market in Europe as well as the world.
"We already have logistics service providers with halal certification but the halal supply chain has not been in place yet.
"In about six months, we hope to establish the halal supply chain from Rotterdam to north-west Europe... connecting manufacturers in Malaysia and shops in north-west Europe," he told Business Times on the sidelines of a seminar on "The Netherlands, Your European Partner in Your International Business" in Kuala Lumpur on October 23.
In November last year, a delegation from Port of Rotterdam visited Port Klang to discuss the possibility of working together to extend their outreach to European Muslim markets.
It has been estimated that 30 million Muslims are living in Europe.
Pulles said more than one million out of 16 million Dutch population are Muslims.
He said a conference on halal supply chain will be held in the Netherlands either in January or February next year where representatives from Port Klang will also participate.
"We hope the conference could speed up the setting up of halal supply chain in Port of Rotterdam," he said.
Pulles said so far, the number of Malaysian companies having operations or investing in the Netherlands is very small.
He said NFIA has opened an office in Kuala Lumpur a few months earlier to facilitate trade and investment from Malaysia into the Netherlands.
"We have helped seven companies to establish operations in the Netherlands, and we are now negotiating with 20 more companies," he said.
NFIA, a division of Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, is targeting to attract seven to eight Malaysian companies per year to invest in the Netherlands.
Besides bio-diesel and commodity sector, Malaysian companies in the Netherlands are also active in food-related sector and automotive components.
Pulles expects information communication technology and service-based sectors to be areas which Malaysian companies will be active in.
See also: Rotterdam: Port halal certified