Photo: Toru Ikuta, President and Chief Executive Officer of JTB Asia Pacific listening to Warees Halal chairperson Sallim Abdul Kadir on November 29, 2019 in Singapore. Photo supplied by Warees Halal Limited.

Halal Industry

Singapore’s MUIS-linked Warees to work with Japanese firm JTB on halal-related food, tourism services

Singapore’s Warees Halal Limited will work with a Japanese firm to help companies tap the growing halal food and travel market in Japan.  

Warees, a government-linked company under the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), said in a statement on Tuesday (Dec 3) the scope of collaboration covers the promotion and provision of halal certification and related services in Japan based on the Singapore MUIS Halal Standards and Quality Management System.

“One of [the] best ways to ensure a visitor to a foreign country is made to feel welcome is by ensuring his stomach is always full. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to provide a variety of choices, as well as assurance that the food and drinks they are consuming have been certified as halal,” said President and CEO of JTB Asia Pacific, Toru Ikuta.

JTB was formerly the Japanese government’s Japan Tourist Bureau and is now a privately-owned travel agency with offices in 40 countries.

Warees and JTB will work to facilitate growth and development of Japan’s halal food and travel industry and provide wider food and travel options for inbound Muslim tourists to Japan.

“In Japan, there is an increasing awareness of the word “Halal”, but it does not mean that we understand exactly what it is,” said Dai Ito, Director of Business Development at the Japan External Trade Organisation in Singapore.

Japan’s government and private sector companies have in recent years accelerated the development of halal and Muslim-friendly products and services in the country.

They have leaned a lot more towards Malaysia for halal-related support as Tokyo prepares to host the Olympics in 2020. Japan and Malaysia signed in November 2018 an agreement aimed at boosting mutual cooperation, including the promotion of trade and investment for halal products and services between the two countries, as well as measures to boost the demand for Malaysian halal certification and Muslim-friendly tourism to Japan.

The countries will also collaborate on the development of Japan’s halal supply chain and ecosystem and Malaysia will offer its halal expertise to organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Speaking for the Singapore company, Warees chairperson Sallim Abdul Kadir called the agreement with JTB “a milestone” for both Japanese and Singapore organisations with regards the halal industry.

“Warees Halal views Japan as one of the promising markets experiencing a boom in inbound tourism from Asia and the Middle East, in particular Muslim visitors. With our multi-cultural background in Singapore, our experience and expertise place us as an ideal partner to work with JTB in Japan,” said the Warees chairperson.

The agreement  between the two companies also aims to create opportunities for Singapore and Japanese companies to export halal products to one another.

Warees Halal provides international certification, capacity building, advisory and trade-link services. It is authorised by the statutopry board MUIS to provide halal certification services outside Singapore based on the Singapore MUIS Halal Standards and the Singapore MUIS Halal Quality Management System.

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