KUALA LUMPUR: The Third Malaysia International Halal Showcase 2006 (Mihas) is expected to rake in over RM250mil in immediate sales, up 15% from last year’s figures.
Islamic Dakwah Foundation Malaysia (Yadim) chairman Datuk Mohd Nakhaie Ahmad said the estimated higher sales were due to the organiser's confidence in the growing awareness of the halal industry.
“The value of transaction is expected to be bigger due to a larger showcase and participation in this year’s event,” he said yesterday after the launch of Mihas and the inaugural World Halal Forum 2006, both scheduled for May.
Yadim, the International Trade and Industry, Entrepreneurial and Co-operative Development Ministries, and Malaysia External Trade Development Corp, are the joint organisers for Mihas.
This year's event is expected to draw 500 exhibitors from more than 20 countries, compared with last year's 425 participants from 18 countries.
Mihas, which is themed “Networking, Consolidating and Energising,” is an expo of halal products and services.
World Halal Forum chairman Khairy Jamaluddin said among issues that needed to be addressed by industry players was having a central agency to streamline operations.
He hoped that parameters for this central agency could be drawn up by year-end. Other issues that need to be addressed are certification, access and imports of raw material for halal food production.
Currently, a special committee tackling halal issues involved many agencies, including the Veterinary Services Department and Agriculture Ministry, which was seen as a “good start” towards developing Malaysia’s halal industry, he said.
Earlier, in her opening speech, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said the huge prospects for economic gain from halal products and services could be seen from the interest generated among countries in the region, which were starting to capitalise on the potential of this market.
She said the halal food sector alone was estimated at US$500bil annually.
“Malaysia’s exports of processed food last year were worth RM6.5bil, accounting for 1.2% of total manufactured exports. This is an increase of 7.9% from 2004,” she said.
Rafidah also said the potential for the halal industry was not only in food production, but also in cosmetics, health supplements, pharmaceuticals and other consumer products.
She said given the nature of competition in the markets, the Government was encouraging cross-border investments to facilitate access to raw materials and input supplies and ensure compliance with the halal standard by overseas suppliers.
“Cross-border investments can take the form of joint ventures between Malaysian and overseas companies, including cattle and sheep farming and companies involved in food and non-food production,” Rafidah added.
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