Halal expo gearing up for Dubai debut

Middle Eastern city chosen due to high global connectivity by air

KUALA LUMPUR: The 20th edition of the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas) will kick off its international debut in Dubai in September.

Mihas 2024 will be held in two parts – firstly at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre from Sept 17 to 20 before moving onward to the Dubai World Trade Centre from Nov 18 to 20.

The halal trade show, which is projected to achieve RM1bil in sales, will feature a total of 2,000 booths from 45 countries with 14 clusters, including the newly introduced halal ingredients cluster.

Since its inception in 2004, Mihas has spearheaded Malaysia’s halal agenda and has collectively generated RM25bil in total sales.

The organisation of Mihas in the past 19 years has benefitted over 12,000 Malaysian exporters and foreign buyers and attracted half a million trade visitors.

Matrade chairman Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said it would be a waste to limit the trade show locally.

“Through Mihas, we were able to solidify our position in the international market to showcase the strength of our halal ecosystem, the depth of our expertise and the quality of our halal products and services offerings,” he added.

Reezal said Dubai was chosen as a strategic location to host Mihas internationally for a variety of reasons.

He said Dubai Airport is one of the most extensively connected airports in the world as there are many connecting flights to the airport from all over the world.

Promising prospects: Reezal (centre) with Investment, Trade And Industry Ministry secretary-general Datuk Hairil Yahri Yaacob (left) and Matrade CEO Datuk Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz (right) at the 20th Mihas’ soft launch. — AZLINA ABDULLAH/The StarPromising prospects: Reezal (centre) with Investment, Trade And Industry Ministry secretary-general Datuk Hairil Yahri Yaacob (left) and Matrade CEO Datuk Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz (right) at the 20th Mihas’ soft launch. — AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

“By selecting Dubai as the venue for Mihas, we strategically position our event in a vibrant market hub, tapping into a diverse range of attendees from the Middle East and beyond and unveiling our strategy in attracting buyers from the Middle East and North Africa, South America, South Asia and the emerging markets,” said Reezal.

He said countries like Kenya, Brazil, Nigeria, Tanzania and Puerto Rico are potential markets for Matrade to tap into.Reezal added that the demand for halal products and services goes beyond creed and religion in the global market.

“The global halal industry is estimated to reach US$3.1tril in halal merchandise with an additional US$5.95tril projected for Islamic financial assets,” said Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz in a video address at the soft launch of Mihas.

Zafrul said for 10 consecutive years, Malaysia has maintained its top position in the Global Islamic Economy Report rankings.

Malaysia is known as the leading supplier of a wide range of halal-certified products and services, namely food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, finance and tourism, he shared.

The minister said: “Malaysia’s halal product exports increased significantly by almost 49% to roughly RM60bil in 2022, up from RM40bil in 2018.”

Mihas said in a statement that the elements of innovation and sustainability will be showcased in the products and services promoted during the trade show, themed “Globalising Halal Innovations”.

These product segments include pharmaceuticals, Islamic finance, fintech, lifestyle, modest fashion, food ingredients and related services, it added.

It shared that the overall emphasis will be on the value-added component and the value chain integrity offered by the halal ecosystem.

Organised by Matrade, the halal trade fair is also eyeing its expansion into emerging markets in different regions like Africa and South America.

Mihas stands as a testament to Malaysia’s pioneering role in the halal industry, which is supported by its well-developed halal ecosystem, it said.

It noted that the event symbolises two decades of dedication to fostering trade and innovation within the halal sector, solidifying its position as a key platform for showcasing halal products and services.

According to the Halal Development Corporation, Malaysia exported RM23.35bil of halal ingredients in 2022.

A report by The Business Research Company in 2023 titled “Global Food Ingredients Market: Regional Comparisons” stated that the global halal ingredients market is currently valued at more than US$60bil (RM287.2bil).

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