Malaysia’s halal exports continue to grow, and this augurs well for the economy as the global halal trade is expected to expand enormously, with the country having the potential to serve as a halal hub.
THE contribution of halal products to Malaysia’s economy continues to grow with exports reaching RM19.5bil in the second quarter (Q2) of this year, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said.
According to him, the country’s halal exports in 2014 was valued at RM37.7bil amid growing demand in recent years.
“It is a massive market and the growth is exponential...the number of Muslims worldwide is expected to increase by 73% from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.8 billion in 2050,” he said in his opening address at the Halal Forum 2015.
He said many international bodies and businessmen were looking for the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia’s (Jakim) logo as a proven standard bearer and a simbol of quality.
The minister urged Jakim to have greater marketing and promotion of the logo and certification, not only in Malaysia but also in its trading partner nations especially China, India and West Asian countries.
Wee also asked Jakim to expedite the setting-up of the Halal Professional Board to provide a database of halal consultants to advise businesses on the procedures of applying and maintaining halal certificates.
“We would like our businesses to work much more closely with Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) and Jakim to make halal development an integral part of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR),” he said.
OBOR is China’s initiative to recreate the ancient Silk Road land and maritime trade routes for the 21st Century and beyond.
Wee pointed out that the support and initiative of Sime Darby Bhd’s investment in its Weifang Sime Darby Port could be an advantage and become a major foothold in China for halal exports.
“We invite excellent small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to work with HDC and Jakim to bring Malaysian outputs and investments to Weifang. Let the Weifang Sime Darby Port be our window for halal trade in China,” he said.
Wee said the Government and related agencies had strived to make Malaysia the leader in the global halal industry.
He said a bigger achievement could be attained if such efforts got the full support from all parties, especially the SMEs.
Meanwhile, International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, who was also at the forum, said next year would be the phase to further boost the halal products at the international level.
“We will create an eco-system consisting of Jakim, banks and other forms of assistance that will be able to help local halal entrepreneurs penetrate foreign markets.
“Even though the potential in foreign markets are broad, we have not achieved the maximum level,” he stressed.
Mustapa said Japan and South Korea had become more interested in investing in the halal industry in Asean countries following the high demand for such products.
“They (Japan and South Korea) are interested to make Malaysia the halal hub to enter the West Asian markets and other Muslim countries,” he said. — Bernama