Opportunities For Malaysian Palm Based Halal Products In The Balkan Countries – Bosnia And Herzegovina
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VIEWS
by Muhammad Kharibi Zainal Ariffin
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), situated in the Balkan Region is a country with a population of 3.9 million and is a fast developing nation in the Balkan Region. The industries are in their nascent stage and its per capita oils and fats consumption is only 14.7 kg which is still much below the world average of 25kg. Thus potentials for further enhancement of oils and fats consumption exist as the economy develops. The main indigenous edible oil produced and consumed in the country is sunflower oil. However production is grossly insufficient to meet domestic consumption and the shortfall is covered by imports.



Palm oil is one of the imported oils in the country and is mainly used in the food service sector. As a progressive Muslim country in the region, BiH is the leader in promoting halal certification for food and non-food products. Halal certification by The Agency of Halal Quality Certification (AHQC) has been well accepted by the Muslim community in the region. This in effect augurs well for palm oil since palm oil is an excellent halal ingredient be it as edible oil and for food processing.



In light of this development, Malaysian companies ought to take the opportunity to identify and work with local partners to penetrate the market especially when the industries are in such infancy stage to showcase and promote halal based products both for food and non-food uses. Even though the import of palm oil is fairly small at this juncture, exporters from Malaysia need to look beyond BiH as this country can serve as a Halal Hub for palm based products. The potential is limitless considering the Balkan region as a whole which has a population of 100 million people. BiH can be the perfect gateway into the region and with the excellent diplomatic tie established between Malaysia and BiH since the mid 1990’s, the potential for palm oil and palm based products into the region as a whole is henceforth worth exploring. This is especially so in light of our efforts to enhance and explore palm oil in new market sector.



The presentation is served to indicate how Malaysian companies can position and capitalise on marketing palm oil based products to the Balkan region. Furthermore, MPOC has started making initial groundwork in identifying the potential segments which could complement to successful palm oil marketing efforts in BiH.
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