25jul02

Food mission to Malaysia

THE service and food industries hopes to win new contracts on a business mission to Malaysia that starts tomorrow.
Trade Minister Mark Vaile is leading the three-day trip that will include talks with Malaysia's International Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz.
Malaysia is Australia's 12th most important export market, with sales between the two countries worth $8.1 billion.
Trade officials said there was a chance for Australian food firms to cash-in on Malaysia's experience in halal foodstuffs.
"There is a real potential for Australia and Malaysia to cooperate in the production and marketing of halal foods, particularly for supply potentially to the Middle East markets," a trade official said.
"We'd be looking to work with Malaysians because they have the reputation and the exposure already to a lot of other Middle East markets."
There are 19 firms joining Mr Vaile on the trip, about half from the service sector.
Trade officials said firms specialising in design engineering and construction, legal services and product development were part of the mission.
Mr Vaile said he was hopeful the visit would build on the strong links between the two countries.
"I expect the mission to be successful in building links between the Australian and Malaysian food processing sectors, especially in areas such as food technology, manufacturing and health-related systems, training, logistics and supply chain management," he said.