KUALA LUMPUR: Among the nations that have kick started the development of their halal industry, Malaysia is regarded as one of the leaders in the global halal marketplace.
The business ecosystem of the halal industry is well in place in Malaysia, and this is a strong catalyst to the huge growth of the industry.
Both the Government and private sectors are working closely to develop the industry through various programmes which include knowledge sharing, funding and training.
To date, Malaysia has 21 Halal Parks, of which 13 are certified with the HALMAS certification. HALMAS is an accreditation accorded to Halal Park operators who have successfully complied with the requirements and guidelines stipulated under the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC)’s designated Halal Park.
Malaysia’s halal certification is well-accepted internationally and this is driven by Jakim, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department that has begun exporting its knowledge and expertise to countries that are seeking guidance in setting up their own halal-certification process.
The growing interest in the potential of the halal market has hastened the move towards the development of global standards, and expanded the coverage to include logistics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care and packaging, among others.
The growing global Muslim population estimated at 1.83 billion has further accelerated halal product and services development, and pushed the acceptance for halal standards among non-Muslims.
Currently, the global market value for trade in halal food and non-food products is estimated at US$2.77 trillion annually. Closer to home, exports of Malaysia’s halal products last year was valued at RM37.7bil.
“However, most of the local producers of halal products are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which lack the capacity to meet the demand and supply of the halal market globally.
“This is why big corporations and SMEs should join forces and create strategic collaborations to ensure more Malaysian SMEs are able to meet the global demands for halal products and services,” said Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) chief executive officer Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud.
The halal industry is now gaining traction from a lot of non-Muslim countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Japan and Australia.
These countries, realising the vast opportunities in halal products, are beginning to place greater emphasis on developing and assisting their local producers to increase the marketing and export of halal products and services overseas.
As such, they look to Malaysia and often remodel our strategies to promote the halal sector.
For Malaysia, MATRADE as the national trade promotion agency continues to be one of the main drivers to assist Malaysian halal product and service providers to strengthen their footprint around the globe.
Its signature Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) has been organised for 12 years in a row. MIHAS 2015, which took place in April, recorded an impressive RM1.1bil in total sales.
The event is also the world’s biggest halal trade event where industry players and halal experts from around the world congregate.
This year, MIHAS 2015 was parked under the World Halal Summit, making it one of the summit’s main agenda.
“MIHAS showcases not only the halal products and services from Malaysian companies, but also highlights Malaysian capabilities in trading, innovation and marketing,” Dzulkifli said.
Apart from MIHAS, MATRADE also organises awareness programmes to highlight developments and market opportunities for Malaysian companies. Recently, MATRADE collaborated with Brahim’s Holdings Berhad and Nippon Express to organise a seminar entitled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: Opportunities for Malaysian Halal Products and Services in Japan.
The seminar highlighted export opportunities for Malaysian halal products and services in Japan by capitalising on the up-and-coming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The seminar allowed local SMEs to recognise Japan as a strong export market for halal products, and to capitalise on the up-and-coming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to promote their halal products and services.
It is timely especially when Japan’s halal sector is booming and there is strong purchasing power among the Japanese for halal products, particularly food products.
According to reports, Japan is one of the largest importers of food products in the world, with an estimated shipment valued around US$225bil in the food and service sector, of which 60% of its total food supply is imported. With a low food self-sufficiency rate of around 40% on calorie basis, Japan depends heavily on imported food.
Japan’s food imports account for nearly 8% of its total imports. Halal food products over the years are gaining popularity in Japan due to the high quality standards imposed on this product segment.
“We wish to improve the visibility of Malaysian halal brands around the world, but we need more Malaysian players to participate in exporting to push our halal industry globally.
“I would like to urge Malaysian companies, especially SMEs, to come forward and engage with MATRADE.
“Globally, MATRADE has 46 international trade offices and I think it will be a waste if our Malaysian companies do not leverage on this,” Dzulkifli said.
MATRADE provides vast opportunities for Malaysian SMEs to participate and promote their halal products and services through its various programmes such as participation in international and local trade fairs, Specialised Marketing Missions, International Sourcing Programme and e-commerce programme, among others.
For more details on our programmes and to register as a MATRADE member, visit www.matrade.gov.my.