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Laos Seeks Halal Certification from Malaysia to Tap into Global Market, Expanding Trade Ties


Laos has expressed its interest in strengthening its ties with Malaysia by exploring collaboration opportunities in the halal market and energy sectors. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim revealed that during a bilateral meeting with his Laotian counterpart, Dr. Sonexay Siphandone, Laos expressed its desire to obtain halal certification for its products through the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim). This move aims to boost Laos’ halal industry and create avenues for Laotian businesses to enter the rapidly growing global halal market.

Prime Minister Ibrahim, speaking to Malaysian media at the end of his visit to Laos, stated that the halal certification process would be facilitated by Jakim. He further expressed Dr. Siphandone’s keen interest in collaborating with Jakim to develop the halal industry in Laos. This collaboration not only holds economic potential for Laos but also serves as a strategic move in strengthening trade relations between Laos and Malaysia.

The global demand for halal-certified products has been increasing steadily, making the halal market a lucrative industry. Therefore, obtaining halal certification from Jakim would not only enhance Laos’ national economy but also contribute to its economic diplomacy efforts.

During the visit, Prime Minister Ibrahim and Laos exchanged two memoranda of cooperation, a memorandum of understanding, and a letter of intent. These agreements encompass various sectors, with Malaysian companies such as Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB), Mutiara Perlis Sdn Bhd (MPSB), and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) set to collaborate with Laotian counterparts.

A significant collaboration between TNB and Electricite du Lao (EDL) will focus on exploring Laos’ hydroelectric potential. This venture is expected to yield substantial returns for TNB, estimated between RM460 million and RM2.3 billion annually, starting in 2025.

Prime Minister Ibrahim emphasized that his Laotian counterpart has pledged continued support for Malaysian companies operating in Laos. The cooperation between the two leaders aims to elevate trade and bilateral ties between Malaysia and Laos to new heights.

This diplomatic engagement is part of Malaysia’s broader regional engagement strategy, aiming to foster economic growth, trade partnerships, and sustainable development. The Don Sahong Hydropower Project, located in southern Laos, stands as a testament to Malaysia’s commitment, being the largest contributor to Malaysia’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in Laos, with an investment of over US$400 million.

These recent developments signify a significant milestone in the diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Laos, which were established on July 1, 1966. Prime Minister Ibrahim’s visit, being the first by a Malaysian leader since 2016, reflects the renewed commitment to strengthen bilateral ties and create extensive opportunities in the halal and energy sectors.



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