KUALA LUMPUR: The halal sector within the healthcare industry provides significant business opportunities waiting to be explored, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said that Malaysia was keen to explore the increasing potential to change over-the-counter medicines and herbal-based food supplements into halal products.
“The market for bio-generics is relatively unexplored and is another area with opportunities for further development into halal products,” he said in his opening address at the “Halal Initiatives in the Healthcare Industry” ceremony, yesterday.
At the event, a collaboration was signed between the Halal Industry Development Corporation and AJ Pharma Holdings, to develop a platform for research and development of vaccines and turning Malaysia into a halal vaccine hub.
Dr Ahmad Zahid also announced the investment of the Saudi-based Al-Jomaih Group in two projects at the Enstek Halal Park in Negri Sembilan, which adds up to RM286mil.
Dr Ahmad Zahid added that the Al-Jomaih Group plans to invest up to RM500mil in the halal healthcare industry in the near future.
He said that Malaysia’s healthcare industry had achieved significant milestones including, being accepted into the Pharmaceutical Cooperation Scheme.
“This indicates the industry’s high manufacturing standards, and opens up export to member countries such as the European Union, Australia and Canada.
“We also have a well-regarded local regulatory framework that is already in place within the industry,” he said.
Meanwhile, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said halal pharmaceutical exports recorded a steady growth, totalling up to RM509.8mil last year compared with RM407.2mil in 2013.
“The total export for this sector accounted for 1.35% of total halal exports in 2014.
“The increase in demand directly offers plenty of room for industry players seeking trade and investment opportunities in the sector,” said Mustapa.
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