Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that by using Malaysia as a hub, halal producers could penetrate markets such as South-East Asia and the Middle East, as well as other potential markets including North Africa, Europe and China.
“Muslims represent an estimated 23% of the global population with an average annual growth rate of 3%.
“While the Muslim market alone provides a huge potential for the halal industry to flourish, the growth of consumer markets across the world for both Muslims and non-Muslims will create opportunities for halal products and services,” she said when launching Malaysia’s Halal Inclusion Roundtable organised by the Islamic Development Bank and International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance.
Dr Wan Azizah stressed on the role of small and medium enterprises, saying that attention should be given to these businesses as they are the key drivers for new jobs and innovation in the halal business.
She said one of the issues that needed to be addressed was the shortage of financing available for halal start-ups and SMEs, pointing out that according to Bank Negara’s Financial Stability and Payment Systems Report 2017, Islamic business financing continued to exhibit a strong growth of 12.5%.
“However, there is insufficient access to Islamic financing for the growth of SMEs in the halal sector. Most syariah-compliant SMEs are facing difficulties in seeking suitable Islamic financing.
“As a result, most of the local SME producers of halal products face problems in taking advantage of the demand and supply of the halal market across the world,” she added.
Dr Wan Azizah later acknowledged that there was a delay in welfare payment aid but assured recipients the financial assistance would be credited to their accounts by Sunday.
On Nov 1, Welfare Department director-general Zulkifli Ismail issued a statement saying that the payment of welfare aid to 484,828 recipients for November was late due to technical issues.
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