By Vice Chairman Song Na-ra
Chairman Lee Kwang-yeon of Pasifik Korea said, “We support the business companies who want to open and operate business in Indonesia and also protect and promote the rights of the Indonesian workers in Korea.”
Speaking at an exclusive interview with The Korea Post media, owning and operating 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications for the past 36 years since 1985, Chairman Lee added, “To this end, we closely and fully cooperate with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce & Industry as well as the government of Indonesia.” Excerpts from the interview with Chairman Lee follow:
Question: What are the main activities of Pacific Korea? In particular, please elaborate on the Halal Certification.
Answer: Yes, we offer extensive support and assistance to the Korean companies which want to enter Indonesia and also those who area already in Indonesia.
We are also dedicated to providing support and assistance for the Indonesia workers in Korea for the protection and promotion of their rights and opportunities—through close cooperation and coordination with the Indonesian Government as well as with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Indonesia.
One of our main aims is to support and assist the Korean enterprises to settle down in Indonesia without delay.
To this end, we are fully and extensively cooperating with the Government of Indonesia and other competent organizations in that country.
Pasifik Korea is the only organization in Korea approved by the Office of Hallal at the Ministry of Religion of Indonesia (BPJPH). We have received approval from Indonesia to issue Halal Certificate for the Korean businesses in Indonesia in preparation of their business activities in Indonesia.
Halal Certificate has the connotation of ‘God’s approval’ of faith, which is very important in the Muslim world.
For example, when vaccination is given to the people in Indonesia against COVID-19, securing of Hallal Certificate is a must because any vaccine without the approval of Hallal can be met with resistance. Hallal is that important in Indonesia and other Muslim countries.
The food and beverage, the clothes and various other things worn by people must secure Hallal Certificate if they are to be used in Indonesia.
There are five years of exemption in Indonesia, but any business companies wanting to enter Indonesia must secure the Halal Certificate as it is an obligation which is proclaimed by law in Indonesia.
In the Hallal market in Indonesia, the Halal certification is a requirement in the country for everything, including food, medicine, cosmetics, tourism, banking, media and fashions.
Based on the figures of 2017, the figures reached US$281.8 billion, which represents an increase of 49.3% compared with US$188.8 million reached in 2016.
Each year, the Hallal market is expanding which is becoming more and more a requirement and duty in Indonesia.
Q: What is the present volume of trade between Korea and Indonesia? What are the figures of the scale and range of products and services that require the certificate of Hallal?
A: The volume of trade and economic exchange between Korea and Indonesia in 2019 was US$16.47 billion. However, there are many Korean companies who are yet to receive the Halal Certificate. Only a limited number of Korean businesses have received the Certificate—such as the big companies of Korea.
There are small and medium Korean businesses in Indonesia. However, demand is not very high.
Such a situation in Indonesia notwithstanding, the Hallal market in Indonesia is growing by leaps and bounds. The size of the Hallal market in Indonesia is many times the size of the entire market of Korea.
It is very important that Korean businesses acknowledged the importance of Halal in Indonesia.
Q: What is the prospect of the export market of Indonesia in the future and what are your recommendations for each industry and item?
A: The population of Indonesia is 280 million which is the fourth largest in the world. Demand for processed food is very high. For instance, Korea’s Ddeok Bokki (rice cake pieces cooked with gravy) are very, very popular in Indonesia.
Indonesia is the Number 1 country in terms of consumption of Hallal foods. This indicates the extremely high degree and extent of popularity of Halal that are related to food and beverage in Indonesia
In terms of food and beverage, beverage is the fifth highest, oil products are the fourth, processed food and beverage for babies and juvenile are the third, bakery products are the second, and the pasta and other flour foods are the first.
Not only the food and beverage but also medicine and cosmetic markets are the areas where Hallal rapidly gains popularity.
The middle-class people in Indonesia, who are in the average age group of 26.4 years, who go all out for K-pop are increasiung.
For all Korean companies wanting to enter Indonesia, acquisition of Hallal is a sheer requirement. Any business companies who have obtained the Halal certificate have a very strong prospect of rapid growth and development in Indonesia.
Korean products shows high demand in Indonesia, which we would like to recommend, include women’s goods, including sanitary pads for women and cosmetic articles. Articles for babies and children are also highly recommended.
Q: What do you think should be careful or focused to enter the Indonesian market? In particular, tell me about the measures to get halal certification.
A: Companies entering Indonesia must obtain halal certification if they believe that their products are competitive after entering Indonesia after considering all the circumstances such as the national tendency, consumption pattern, and on-site analysis.
In order to get halal certification, you need to proceed the certification process at Pasifik Korea, and there are many companies that receive Indonesian certification from other domestic certification companies, but the certification is not actually valid in Indonesia.
I hope you don't commit the mistake to be re-certified by Pasifik Korea again. This is what Sukoso, the director of Halal Office of the Indonesian Ministry of Religion, emphasized during his visit to Korea several times.
If you search about Halal in Indonesia on Naver search engine, you can see the director's videos and articles.
Q: Please tell us about Chairman Lee Kwang-yeon's motivation for entering this field and his achievements and activities.
A: I heard from businessmen and related workers about halal certification systems and the difficulties to the companies to enter Indonesia, and I found out that there are no proper certification institutions or related institutions in Korea yet. Therefore, I got to know Director Sukoso of Indonesia in many ways, and he has been working in this field after several years of preparation for the role of bridgehead of Korea and Indonesia. In addition, I was in contact with many places such as the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Aliansi City Group in Jakarta, Indonesia, and received a lot of support and encouragement to play the bridge role between Indonesia and Korea.
Q: Is there a successful case among Korean companies currently in Indonesia?
A: There are currently companies that have entered Indonesia without halal certification, and there are companies that are under halal certification. Gradually, the products of all companies are subject to halal certification, and Korean companies are also struggling in Indonesia and achieved good results. Due to the influence of K-pop, Korea's image is good, so Korean products are not being pushed back by other countries that have previously been rooted in Indonesia.
Products from large companies and small and medium-sized companies such as Korean “tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cake),” color makeup, health food, and medicine are active.
The representative company is Samyang, and its red chicken stir-fried noodles are gaining popularity, and cosmetics are being promoted by small and medium-sized companies. Baby products will grow significantly in the future, and it would be good for domestic companies to plan to enter the market after preparation.
Q: Please tell me anything else you want to say.
A: Pasifik Korea is a halal certification agency of Kementrian Agama Republik Indonesia (BPJPH). We will do our best to support the halal certification process of Korean companies.
Through cooperation between the two countries, we will provide processors and systems for Korean companies to enter Indonesia easily and quickly. We will continue to make efforts to promote corporate friendship and prosper business exchanges between the two countries.