Big plans for halal industry, says Tengku Zafrul

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to capitalise on the global trends to promote its halal industry as last year alone as Malaysia's halal exports almost touched RM60bil, says the International Trade and Industry Minister.

Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said this in his speech at the opening ceremony today (Sept 12) at the 2023 Global Halal Summit (GHaS) at the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) here, which was officiated by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"This is a remarkable 64% growth compared to 2021. The F&B product category was the largest contributor to halal exports, with a growth of 58%, followed by halal ingredients, cosmetics and personal care products, palm oil derivatives, the chemical industry and pharmaceuticals.

"Despite global economic challenges, this growth highlights the resilience of the Halal industry in contributing to the country's economic growth," he said.

Citing a study by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido), Tengku Zafrul said the finding shows that post-pandemic, the reshoring of manufacturing hubs increasingly shifting to the Asian region seems to be a long-term trend.

"Coupled with China's structural transformation towards a knowledge-driven high-income economy, all these will significantly restructure key trade flows and global value chains (GVCs).

"Various multinationals are now trying to shorten their value chains and diversify regional production sources to build supply chain resilience.

"We need to capitalise on this trend as soon as possible by attracting more high-tech and high-value investors to Malaysia," he added.

Tengku Zafrul said that MITI would continue to drive the halal industry in alignment with the 12th Malaysia Plan - through the Halal Industry Master Plan 2030 (HIMP2030) and the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP2030).

"In terms of human capital development, HDC provides various training programs that are regularly updated, in alignment with industry demands and current market changes.

"This ensures that the workforce possesses comprehensive knowledge in the field of Halal.

"This year's GHaS features a Halal Professional Seminar in line with the HIMP 2030 agenda, which aims to create 700,000 job opportunities," said the minister.

Tengku Zafrul also pointed out that the key component of GHaS is the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas), which was the world's largest exhibition platform for halal products and services, organised since 2004.

"In 2022, Mihas recorded the participation of more than 30,000 exhibitors and visitors from around the world, achieving total export value exceeding RM2.39bil, surpassing the original target of RM1.9bil.

He added that to further strengthen the cross-border halal trade, MIHAS is once again organised in a hybrid format this year with the theme 'Paving the way for Halal'.

"The 19th edition of Mihas provides a platform and opportunities for Malaysian and international entrepreneurs to explore innovations and sustainable initiatives in driving global Halal economic growth.

"For the first time, this year's Mihas has also introduced the concept of the circular economy, emphasising the concept of reuse, recycle, and re-manufacturing," said Tengku Zafrul.

The summit and exhibition will take place until Sept 15 at Mitec.

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