PM: Take advantage of halal market opportunities

| 08/05/2009 | Reply

By ZULKIFLI ABD RAHMAN

KUALA LUMPUR:
Malaysian companies and entrepreneurs have the best opportunity to tap
into the global halal market, which has an estimated value of a massive
USD2.1 trillion (RM7.4 trillion) per year, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
says.

The Prime Minister said local private sector including
government-linked companies should establish links with international
brands of halal products, either through equity participation or
through acquisition of renowned brands.

Najib said the companies
should capitalise on the strong relations that Malaysia has with the
members of the Organisation of the Islamic Countries (OIC), Africa and
China.

“Nurturing closer relationship with our trading partners is also critical and should not be overlooked.

“The
opportunities in the halal sector are huge and should be explored to
the fullest,” the Prime Minister said at the launching of theSixth
International Halal Showcase (Mihas) 2009 here today.

The five-day trade exhibition will end on Sunday.

Najib
said Malaysia had a competitive edge in the development of the halal
industry, being a modern Islamic country with an open economy.

It
also has a well-developed physical and institutional infrastructure,
strong manufacturing base and a Government which is strongly supportive
of the halal initiative,” he added.

Najib said Malaysia is at an advantage because its halal certification and logo had been accepted worldwide.

A
significant milestone was the adoption of Malaysia’s MS1500:2004 as the
international halal standard by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, he
added.

“This standard is the only reference on halal under the
World Trade Organisation, which provides guidelines on the labelling of
halal products.

“Malaysia is now working towards expanding halal standards to cover pharmaceuticals, logistics, and catering services.

“Today,
we are proud to see that the Malaysian Halal Standard is being used by
world-renowned multinational companies such as Nestle, Colgate
Palmolive, Ajinomoto and Unilever.

“Nestle has become the
biggest food manufacturer in the halal sector with more than US$3bil in
annual sales in Islamic countries,” he added.

Najib said the
implementation of the halal industry master plan in May 2008 and the
creation of the Halal Development Corporation (HDC) was Malaysia’s goal
to develop Malaysian companies into global players.

The
introduction of the World Halal Research Summit by HDC was timely given
the importance of research and technology for the further development
of the halal industry.

In his welcoming speech, International
Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said this year’s
Mihas, now in its sixth year, recorded the highest number of foreign
participants so far.

“More than 600 international buyers from 48
countries are participating in the business meeting programme in this
year’s Mihas, which is now the largest halal trade fair in the world.

“These meetings have generated actual sales of RM333.36mil and potential sales of RM3.38bil,” he added.

In
a press conference, Mustapa said the Government’s recent move to
liberalise the ecconomy would help to smooth Malaysia’s Free Trade
Agreement (FTA) talks with the United States.

He added that the ministry was now updating its stand on the various issues in the FTA and getting its own position clear first.

“We
hope to resume the negotiations this year. However, this will depend on
the initiative of both sides. “I’ve yet to contact my US counterpart
since I assumed my portfolio recently,” he added.

Category: Asia, Media & Events

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