Brunei bracing for halal brand challenges

Halal talk: Permanent Secretary
at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources Dato Paduka Hj Mohd
Hamid Hj Mohd Jaafar speaking during the final day of the IHMC 2009 at
ICC. Picture: BT/Ubaidillah Masli

BRUNEI is bracing for challenges in ensuring the success of the newly
launched Brunei Halal brand as it counts on global partners and a plan
to build an agro-technology park to improve the chances of the
Sultanate’s fledgling drive for a piece of the US$600 billion ($865
billion) global market.

“We hope to see more products for the
Brunei Halal brand, but the challenges will remain. One of the speakers
said that the market is a very important consideration, and it’s not
just about producing it, but having the capacity to produce it,” said
Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid Hj Mohd Jaafar, permanent secretary of the
Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and co-chairman of the
organising committee for the International Halal Market Conference
2009. “That is also the idea to partner with distinguished companies
like Kerry FSDA, to help us to achieve our objectives of bringing the
Brunei Halal brand and the products in the most strategic and
successful way.”

Kerry FSDA is the Hong Kong logistics firm
that is part of Ghanim International Food Corporation, the joint
venture which also includes Brunei Wafirah Holdings and Brunei Global
Islamic Investment, tasked to develop Brunei halal products.

Holdings, a wholly government-owned company, is owner of the brand and
grants the licence to Ghanim to manage, market and promote the brand.

Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid said the challenges and competition will always be
there and the government initiatives being put in place are hoped to
work towards contributing to the success of Brunei’s halal agenda.

One of the key factors of the strategic plan is the Brunei Halal Agro Technology Park.

about whether there is a specific product or sector which the Agro Tech
Park is aiming for, the permanent secretary said that, “the market is
something that everyone must pay attention to”.

He added,
“Obviously the way that we package the Agro Technology Park is that it
has the extra ingredient, which is ‘halal’, and we like to think that
halal is considered a niche as a factor contributing to the competitive

He said that the exact demand could be in
pharmaceutical or services area that is halal-related. “For example,
companies can use the Brunei Halal name for their products, and can
decide to position their headquarters or part of their services
structure in the park. They could also be manufacturing, and we have to
be positioned in such a way that people will have every reason to move
to Brunei, in particular the Agro Technology Park,” he said. “To sum it
up, it is a challenge and it is up to us to provide the flexibility so
that the investment will bring the return and response that we are
looking for,” he said.

The International Halal Market Conference
2009, concluded yesterday and saw the launching of the Brunei Halal
brand which will be used to market halal products locally and abroad.

The Brunei Times