The impressive numbers from the 13th edition of Mihas, Malaysia’s halal trade fair, are proof-positive that this is a business segment with huge growth potential. ZIEMAN reports.
THE 13th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas) underlined the fact that halal has become a big global business that you just cannot afford to ignore.
The trade fair in Kuala Lumpur this year drew some 530 companies from 29 countries and generated RM1.14bil in sales — an increase of 4% from last year’s RM1.1bil.
The sales generated included business from the event’s two main components, the International Sourcing Programme (INSP) held on March 29 at Menara Matrade and the exhibition held on March 30 to April 2 at the KLCC.
The food and beverage sector continues to record the highest sales at the INSP with RM365.12mil, representing 76.3% of total sales, while the non-food product sector such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics hit RM108.99mil.
Major products sourced were coffee, tea and cocoa, snacks, cosmetics, coconut products, confectionery chocolates and candies. The highest sales generated through the INSP were via China, the UK, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.
The INSP attracted 581 foreign buyers representing 391 companies from 40 countries who participated in 4,372 meetings with 619 Malaysian exporters. The one-on-one business meetings were arranged by Matrade.
The beverages cluster recorded the highest sales at the exhibition with total sales of RM132.24mil, representing 21.5%, followed by the processed and ready-to-eat products with RM82.91mil (13.5%), and the herbal and healthcare products with RM75.52mil (12.3%) respectively.
Exhibitors from Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and China recorded the highest sales.
With this kind of figures, perhaps it wasn’t surprising that more and more exhibitors were willing to spend on booths that cost upwards of RM80,000. And there were 67% repeat exhibitors this year.
“Mihas is recognised as a strategic platform for the development of the national halal industry,” says Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud, CEO of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), one of the organisers.
Matrade’s data shows that Malaysia’s halal exports reached RM42bil, accounting for 5.4% of the country’s total exports, which stood at RM779.95bil last year. This year, the hope is to grow that figure to RM50bil.
There are currently 5,726 halal-certified companies in Malaysia, of which 77% are involved in food products. However, only 14%, or 800, are considered to be export-ready.
Pratan Jongpun, president of food producer CP Holdings, says Mihas is a good way to tap Muslim consumers the world over and to initiate business partnerships.
“Malaysia is the centre of the global halal industry and has a reputable image. It’s great to be part of this trade fair,” he says.
“All CP products, including animal feed, are certified halal. We feel CP has an important part to play in the overall growth of the halal industry in Malaysia, and Mihas is the perfect platform for it,” adds Jongpun.
Attesting to the growing importance of this segment, another food manufacturer, FFM Bhd, which makes nuggets, patties and beef balls, says it makes sure its products are certified halal, on top of complying with strict standards of food safety, including GMP, HACCP and Food Safety Management Systems.
FFM’s subsidiary Kart Food Industries was the first Malaysian company to go into the manufacturing, distribution and sales of halal Asian ethnic frozen food for the retail, institutional, food service and export markets.
Ahmad Kamal Zainal Abidin, the CEO from Peladang Food Industries, says he looks forward to Mihas every year. For him, it’s a golden opportunity to do networking and get to know the right people.
“It’s a chance to make your network and get your products recognised internationally. The halal market is huge, and Malaysia has a lot to offer the world,” he states.
William Chua, sales manager of fruit beverage manufacturer, Brilliant Fruit Cordian, agrees.
“Being in Mihas will make you more competitive as you find out what’s the latest trend in halal beverage and what’s the latest in halal products in the market.
It’s also a one-stop centre for halal products and services,” he explains.
Steven Yeo, marketing manager of Johor-based Koon Brother, an exporting confectionery-maker, is certain that interest in halal products will only continue to grow.
And that’s why the company wants to make sure that it isn’t left out.
“We are doing our bit to ensure that our products are halal-compliant,” says Yeo.
This year’s event also saw Mihas entering into a partnership with Halal.Ad, the digital platform for halal advertisements that’s thought of as the halal version of Google Adsense.
Mihas 2016 was organised by Matrade in association with the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) and Department of Islamic Development of Malaysia (Jakim).
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