KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian companies that sell halal products and services can benefit from the lucrative market offered by China’s Belt and Road trade route, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Companies should seize this opportunity as they can profit from the high growth potential of the halal market in the area, he added.
“We are seeking to tap the growth opportunities arising from the Belt and Road trade routes with China which has some 30 million Muslims with an annual halal market growth of 10%,” he said in his speech at the launch of the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas) trade fair here yesterday.
Mihas is billed by Matrade, its organiser, as the world’s largest halal trade show.
The event, first held in 2004, generated RM1.14bil in sales last year.
Last year, Malaysia exported RM39.3bil worth of halal goods and services globally, with China, Singapore, the United States and Japan the four biggest importers.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the halal market was still under-served as the supply of halal products was not matching the growing demand.
“Only a few countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Australia are exporting halal goods. Demand has overwhelmed supply. There is an urgent need to create more halal suppliers in these areas,” he added.
He said a challenge facing the industry was the lack of a single unified halal standard.
“There are now more than 200 bodies issuing their own halal certificates and logos.
“The countries involved should foster mutual recognition of each others’ certification to overcome the problem,” he added.
He also called on Asean member countries to develop the halal industry by creating structured programmes, and an efficient and seamless global supply chain in order to move halal from a niche to a mainstream industry.
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