Brunei: Brunei Halal Brand A ‘Facilitator’ Of Trade

Bandar Seri Begawan – The Brunei-Halal Brand should not be regarded as a barrier of trade but in fact as a facilitator – some 120 representatives from member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) were told yesterday.

The premium halal brand, launched in 2009, is said to be the first proper attempt to put together a global halal brand that will reap the potential commercial returns of catering to the consumption needs of Muslims worldwide.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR), Datin Hjh Normah Suria Hayati binti PJDSM DSU (Dr) Hj Awg Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri, highlighted this in her speech during the opening ceremony of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Seminar on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures, at the Empire Hotel and Country Club, yesterday.

“In the seminar, you should be able to understand the Brunei Halal Brand and position it as an initiative which does not become a barrier to trade,” Hjh Normah said in her speech.

Singapore became the first country where products of international origin under the Brunei Halal Brand certification are sold.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP is a multilateral free trade agreement being formed with the objective of creating a platform for promoting economic integration among nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The framework currently comprises eight countries: Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam.

The Brunei Halal Brand reached a critical milestone just last week, from a mere concept to actual physical realisation, when Brunei Wafirah Holdings Sdn Bhd, owner of Brunei Halal Brand and its marketing and trading agency, Ghanim International Food Corporation Sdn Bhd, yesterday launched several products of local and international origin carrying the premium logo of the Brunei Halal Brand for local markets.

Ghanim told the Bulletin that it hopes to expand the portfolio of products under the Brunei Halal Brand and is working to promote it overseas including in European countries.

Launched in 2009, the Brunei Halal Brand allows qualified manufacturers in Brunei and other countries the premium Brunei Halal trademark to help them penetrate lucrative markets in countries with significant numbers of Muslim consumers.

The Sultanate is capitalising on its Muslim stature in building the premium halal brand. It also aims to build confidence in the brand through strategies that will both ensure the halal integrity of the products and unfaltering compliance with set rules governing the sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing process, logistics and distribution.

Group photo of the speakers with the Deputy Permanent Secretary at MIPR, Datin Hjh Normah Suria Hayati and the Acting Director of Agriculture and Agri-food, Hjh Aidah binti Hj Mohd Hanifah, during the opening of SPS seminar yesterday

Datin Hjh Normah Suria Hayati in her speech said that, being a major importer of food as well as having to enhance food production, it is indeed very important for relevant people in the country to understand the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. The halal topic was one of several topics raised in yesterday’s seminar.

She hoped the seminar would enlighten participants’ minds and enable them to navigate future cooperation. This opportunity, she said, would pave the way for closer relationships between the TPP member economies to work together in viewing the challenges that the TPP member economies should strive to overcome for the 21st Century SPS Agreement.

“We should endeavour to make a big step forward to keep up with the changes as a team,” the Deputy Permanent Secretary added. “I would like to urge all participants to embrace (the) challenge to grab all the knowledge and experiences delivered by the expert speakers from the TPP member economies, to enhance partnership as well as the economic cooperation for the 21st Century SPS Agreement.” — Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin