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By Christine Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 -- The Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) Malaysia is collaborating with FunNow, a booking app popular in Asian cities, to rejuvenate Malaysian taste buds for the Japanese wagyu beef as dine-ins at restaurants are now allowed after the prolonged lockdown.
Jetro project officer Haruka Akutagawa said the project, which runs from Dec 1, 2021 to Jan 15, 2022, involves nine Japanese restaurants in the Klang Valley which serve high-grade Japanese wagyu beef at discounted price under the FunNow platform.
She said during the lockdown, some restaurants were affected by the slowdown in the food and beverage industry and had to shut down.
In line with the changes in modern lifestyle, growth of food service industry and strong economic performance, consumer spending in restaurants is increasing, she added.
"With dine-ins now allowed, we are drawing in the crowd for Japanese wagyu beef by providing a government recommended queuing system for people to make reservations at participating restaurants.
"The number of reservations is increasing through this project, as you know, it is so much better to dine-in to enjoy the unique taste of wagyu beef in a good ambience.
"This platform provides convenience and flexibility for people to make their bookings especially during peak periods at lunch time,” Akutagawa told Bernama in an interview recently.
Amid the growth in demand for food services, she said Jetro hopes to provide a new platform to facilitate and manage reservation numbers, particularly with the various standard operating procedures (SOP) enforced to control the spike in the COVID-19 infections.
She said with the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel restrictions and movement of people as well as increasing SOP enforcement, Jetro is also working with various online platforms to promote Japanese products and brands, particularly in the Malaysian market.
“In this respect, we are also providing avenues for Malaysians to have greater opportunity to access Japanese products and brands through online channels such as Japan Street, an online catalogue that was launched in January 2021 globally,” she said.
Akutagawa said due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, matching events and business meetings have been reduced, and Japan Street provides a platform for Malaysian companies and importers to connect with more than 2,500 Japanese manufacturers.
“To-date, there are more than 20,000 Japanese products on Japan Street and products such as cosmetics and kitchenware have high demand,” she said.
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