DTI backs Malaysia role in developing barter, halal industries

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THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it wants to expand bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and Malaysia in barter trade and hopes to grow the halal industry with Malaysia’s help.

“Cooperation… will create more economic activity for Filipinos and Malaysians. The barter trade as well as the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area) means a lot to our people,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez was quoted as saying in a statement Monday.

Mr. Lopez said Ignatius Darell Leiking, the Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry, and other officials discussed on March 8 ongoing efforts to revive barter trade in Mindanao, particularly in the Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi area.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed in October Executive Order (EO) 64 to facilitate barter trade in Mindanao. The implementing rules and regulations of the order are scheduled for release this month.


The barter system is also thought to be a viable approach to support the growth of the halal industry in both countries.

The DTI said the global halal industry is a $3.2- trillion market. Republic Act 10817 or the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016 requires the department to strengthen its capacity to meet global demand for quality halal products and services.

In April, the DTI will head a delegation to Kuala Lumpur’s four-day Malaysian International Halal Showcase, believed to be the world’s largest halal market event.

“These kind of activities are very important to PH as the country is still beginning to recognize its potential in the halal industry and can learn much from big economies, like Malaysia,” Mr. Lopez added.

In 2018, Malaysia was the country’s 10th largest trading partner, and was the Philippines’ 11th largest export market and 9th largest import source.

Bilateral trade was $6 billion in 2018, up 8.33%.

The Malaysian official said apart from electronics, top imports from the Philippines include processed food, which could serve as a springboard for halal promotion. — Janina C. Lim