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Date [ 2016-09-09, 13:02 ]
(L-R) Taek Hong, Nam, Kwang Jae, Jhon, Patrick So, Hong Geun, Jeong, Byung Lyul, Yoo, Sun Kyu, Yoon, Matthew Lew - VIPs officiating K-Food Fair KL 2016 with Giant Bibimbap

To further encourage the growth of Korean food and beverage (F&B) products in Malaysia, the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) and the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT) hosted the K-Food Fair Malaysia 2016 at both Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur, and One Utama Shopping Centre.

Hosted under the slogan “Safe and Healthy Lifestyle with Premium K-Food!”, a seminar and media conference session was held on 25 and 26 August, where twenty (20) F&B exporters and forty (40) buyers took part in export consultations at Hotel Istana in Kuala Lumpur. The primary highlight was on allowing Korean brands to familiarise themselves with the halal certification procedure, and also to discuss on appropriate and effective market entry strategies.

Three (3) of the key speakers present at the event were Yoo Byung Lyul, Director General of Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation, Mohd Fakarudin Bin Masod, Chief Assistant Director of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), and Dr Hamid Choi Young Kil, Chairman of the Korean Muslim Federation (KMF).

Yoo Byung-lyul - Director General of Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT)

Dr Mohd Fakarudin bin Masod - Chief Assistant Director of Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM)

Dr Hamid Choi Young Kil - Chairman of the Korean Muslim Federation (KMF)

KMF is recognised by JAKIM as a Foreign Halal Certification Body and Authority, and is primarily responsible for ensuring that halal Korean products meet with local standards, to provide Malaysian Muslims with complete assurance with regards to the consumption of imported Korean F&B products. As Malaysia commands a high demand for Korean F&B brands, the seminar and media conference session helped facilitate a new influx of Korean halal products into the Malaysian market.

Eight (8) participating export companies from Korea then had their opportunity to do a presentation on their products during the briefing session, each with aspirations to enter the Malaysian halal market and expand business opportunities. Following that, interested buyers and export companies engaged with each other in business matching programmes to further negotiate on potential partnerships. Discussions proceeded through the evening, and continued throughout the second day as companies and consultants examined avenues for collaboration.

Matthew Lee - Managing Director of KMT Trading Sdn Bhd

In addition to the business meetings, a Special Promotion Zone was also set up, which housed three (3) primary zones, namely Halal Food, Health Food, and Instant Food. The zones facilitated with export consultations, providing buyers with a distinct way of identifying potential business associates. A tasting experience zone further added as a platform for the Korean F&B brands to showcase their array of products.

The second part of the K-Food Fair involved a consumer-targeted event held at One Utama Shopping Centre on 27 and 28 August. Korean cultural experience zones, Taekwondo performances, and F&B promotions were but a few of what consumers experienced at the event. Other attractions included a Korean Traditional Games Competition, a speed-eating challenge, as well as the K-Food Kitchen Zone, where visitors had the opportunity to personally make Korean dishes such as tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cake) and hwachae (fruit salad).

A gigantic bibimbap-making ceremony kick-started the event, with invited VIPs officiating proceedings by mixing a massive preparation of the traditional Korean rice dish. The bibimbap was then distributed in to event attendees, which gave audiences uninitiated with Korean cuisine an opportunity to have a first-hand experience at sampling Korean food.

“K-Food Fair does not only introduce an assortment of Korean cuisines to Malaysian consumers, but also enables the export companies to better understand the Halal policies and procedures involved in penetrating the Malaysian market. This in effect allows for more business opportunities for both the Korean brands and local buyers, as well as establishes trust among Malaysian consumers who are mostly concerned about the halal status of the Korean products available in the market, said Yoo Byung Lyul, Director General of Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation.

Both Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) events were aimed to further heighten awareness about the Korean F&B industry, and also about Korean culture in general. The K-Food Fair Malaysia 2016 acted as an entry-point not only for aspiring halal Korean F&B brands, but also to expose Malaysian consumers to a wider array of halal Korean products. For more information about the K-Food Fair 2016, please visit their website at http://kfoodfair.net/.
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