This will contribute to the expansion of the the agriculture sector and help increase the sultanate’s export income, the company’s CEO Dr Nur Rahman said on Tuesday, after Ghanim signed a memorandum of understanding with local meat supplier PDS Abattoir.
“PDS has a slaughterhouse that manufactures, stores as well as distributes meat locally,” Dr Nur said. “Combined with our networks both locally and internationally, this alignment can help strengthen both companies, so we can try to export products together.”
Among the products slated for export are fresh and frozen meat such as beef and lamb cuts, as well as “value-added” products such as burgers, which will be marketed under Ghanim International’s bruneihalalfood brand.
The venture would make Ghanim the first Bruneian company with an eye on exporting meat to the China and Singapore markets.
Dr Nur said there are challenges with exporting meat from Brunei, such as cold storage chain supply management and ensuring the standard, quality and safety of the meat products being manufactured.
The registration of meat products to the intended markets will also require government-to-government discussions.
“To make sure that this effort is effective we are working together closely with the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade tackle these challenges,” said the CEO.
He added that Ghanim’s collaboration with PDS Abattoir will pave the way for other local SMEs to enter the export market as well.
Ghanim already has multiple branches across the world including the United Kingdom, but this move will help develop the local economy, positioning Brunei as a platform for export.
“We want to start manufacturing [in the country] and create employment, to generate export income and substitution of imports,” Dr Nur said.
Of the 70 plus products that are manufactured under the bruneihalalfood brand, more than half are made in Brunei. Six are already exported overseas, such as ice cream and blue shrimp crackers.
“We are trying to promote Brunei, and we are trying to establish a channel [to export goods internationally] because right now that market is closed, so we are taking the lead so that once it is open, other SMEs can follow,” he said.
While the company is eyeing countries which have a high Muslim population, Ghanim is also looking beyond the halal market.
“We are going into the market to highlight Brunei, so we want our customers to include non-Muslims too, as there is often good perception of halal meat being safe and of good quality.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Ghanim International would be the first Brunei company to export meat products internationally. It would be the first to export beyond Borneo, but three Bruneian companies are already exporting to Sarawak, Malaysia.