Malaysia, Philippines set to boost Islamic banking, halal trade with focus on Bangsamoro

Malaysia, Philippines set to boost Islamic banking, halal trade with focus on Bangsamoro

Philippines President Marcos Jr. pays 3-day trip to Southeast Asian neighbor Malaysia

By Necva Tastan

ISTANBUL (AA) – Malaysia and the Philippines are set to boost Islamic banking and Halal trade with focus on the autonomous Bangsamoro region, as agreed during an official visit to Malaysia by Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“We’re strengthening ties with Malaysia across multiple fronts, including our shared commitment to peace and security,” said Marcos on Thursday.

His statement came after he held meetings with Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in Kuala Lumpur during a three-day visit which concluded on Thursday.

“We are resolute … in empowering the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with capacity-building initiatives, especially in sectors such as the Halal industry, Islamic banking, and food security,” Marcos wrote on Twitter. Halal refers to food and other goods prepared under Muslim guidelines.

Malaysia is a major player in the halal industry, and Bangsamoro is an autonomous Muslim-majority region in the southern Philippines with a population of around 5 million.

Marcos also emphasized the centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and said Manila and Kuala Lumpur are “resolute” in upholding this.

Accompanying Marcos, Filipino Parliament Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said that the Philippines-Malaysia partnership in the halal industry “will generate more jobs and business opportunities for both countries.”

“The halal industry holds immense potential. By working together, we can capitalize on the halal market's vast opportunities, creating new avenues for trade, investment and employment,” said Romualdez.

Marcos’s office said in a statement that the Philippines received commitments of around $285 million in investment from Malaysian businesses during his visit.

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