Ahd, Feb

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia is looking to expand its halal market to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries including Australia and New Zealand.  

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia had been working closely with the two countries as they were familiar with Malaysia's halal agenda.

"We are looking for markets in some of these (TPP) countries. For example, in the United States and Canada, where the Muslim population is growing.

"By promoting halal products in those countries, we hope Malaysian exporters would get better market access in some of the TPP countries," he told reporters after the soft launch of the World Halal Week 2016 here, today.

Mustapa said the halal industry was an important agenda for the government in the 11th Malaysia Plan and Halal Industry Development Corporation was recognised as an important focal point to develop Malaysian halal business.

He pointed out that more needed to be done to internationalise the nation's halal agenda in order to help increase the consumption of halal products.

"If the recognition is accorded in every Muslim country, then the prospects of halal industry growth will be much

KOTA KINABALU : Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) will implement a number of initiatives including opening its own bank.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said he would hold a meeting with Bank Negara Malaysia on the matter.

"We have not decided on the name for the bank but we have done the preparations and planning," he said at a 'Solidariti Kegemilangan Mara Sabah' event here Monday night.

He said Mara would also set up its 'Universiti Majlis Amanah Rakyat

KUALA LUMPUR : The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is not a trade agreement designed solely by the United States (US), said Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

Malaysia which is one of the member countries was also involved in formulating the draft for the international agreement which also involved 11 other countries, he said. 

"Malaysia is responsible for preparing the drafts for Chapter 6, 21 and 24 which are related to cooperation and

KUALA LUMPUR : The ringgit extended yesterday's gain to open higher against the US dollar today on the continued upward momentum in global oil prices, dealers said. 

At 9.05 am, the local unit strengthened to 4.3420/3500 from 4.3780/3870 against the greenback on Thursday.

The ringgit also traded higher against other major currencies. 

It rose slightly against the Singapore dollar to 3.0311/0388 from 3.0426/0506 on Thursday, and went up against the yen to 3.6887/6971 from 3.7460/7550. 


PETALING JAYA : The Malaysian economy is very stable and among the contributing factors is the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April last year, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said the Customs Department had collected more than RM51 billion in revenue since the implementation of the GST, compared with a collection of RM37.2 billion in 2014 without the GST.

He described the additional collection as oxtraordinary and

KUALA LUMPUR : The ringgit opened higher against the US dollar Wednesday in tracking the rebound in crude oil prices and on renewed demand, dealers said.

At 9 am, the local unit was traded at 4.2580/2640 from 4.2885/2945 against the greenback on Tuesday.

"Investors are also closely watching the US Federal Reserve's meeting this week, since it will be the first (meeting) since interest rates went up in last December," said a dealer.

The ringgit also traded mostly higher against other major

KUALA LUMPUR : There will be no budget cut for micro-financing activities in the recalibrated Budget 2016 to be presented on Jan 28, Ministry of Finance Under-Secretary for Strategic Investment Division Datuk Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir said.

"We are in the midst of recalibrating the budget. We are probably not going to cut anything (for micro financing)," he told reporters on the sidelines of the ASEAN Microfinance Conference here Wednesday.

He said the government has allocated more than RM200

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