According to the NFI president, Yongvut Saovapruk, Japanese companies have been increasingly interested in Thailand’s halal potential and were looking to invest in its islamic food industry. The country now ranks ninth for halal food exports and has its own established market, particularly in the largely Muslim southern provinces.
"The Japanese are not familiar with halal food, which requires a deliberate process including acquiring the raw materials, the cooking process and cooking standards that have to match specific religious requirements,” he said.
"By changing some of the procedures, the same product can be sold to a broader group of customers in those growing Muslim communities."
Yongvut signed the memorandum of understanding with officials from Japan Halal Development and Promotion, a government agency for boosting halal food standards in Japan and promoting Japanese food products in Muslim countries.
Under the terms of the MOU, the NFI will assist Japanese investors to gain the official halal trademark from the Central Islamic Council of Thailand.
Halal food accounts for roughly one-third of Thailand’s overall foods exports, which amounted to THB897bn (US$25.55bn) in 2015.