Brunei called to create halal cluster

The International Halal Market Conference (IMHC) 2008 came to a close yesterday at the conference hall of
the International Convention Centre, Berakas.

The resolutions, however, will be released to the public at a later date, said the Ministry of Industry and
Primary Resources.

Meanwhile, LBB Teams Chief Executive Officer Dr Marco Tieman, who was the first speaker on the second
day of the conference, spoke on the importance of creating a unique halal cluster, which is based on the
dynamic strength of Brunei and its halal environment.

According to Dr Tieman, there is a big opportunity for Brunei to establish a halal knowledge cluster in the

“In order to realise this, they have to get key players into Brunei at whatever cost,” he said. “Foreign direct
investment is not what is important. However, what matters is the actual chemistry (GDP) that is caused by
this halal cluster.”

Shahed Amanullah, founder of – the world’s largest guide to halal restaurants and markets –
yesterday announced the launch of’s Halal Products Guide, which allows global halal
consumers to search, rate and review halal products from around the world.

“Over the past 10 years, has helped to increase the quality and market size of halal restaurants
and markets exponentially,” said Shahed. “We hope to do the same with’s Halal Products

The guide will allow consumers to browse halal products, learn more about their manufacturers, review halal
authorising agencies that confer halal certification on the products, and give manufacturers of halal products
crucial feedback, which can be used to increase product quality and respond efficiently to consumer

On the topic of “The Future of Islamic Tourism and the Halal Hospitality Business: The Rise of Islamic
Tourism and the Halal Hospitality Business”, David Smith said the global tourism market is expected to triple
in size, from 565 million visitors in 1995 to 1.6 billion in 2020.

The world Islamic population will increase by 2.5 billion from 2005 to 2100, while Muslim countries will
contribute 1.75 billion (70 per cent).

In 2005, Muslims represented 24 per cent of the world population, which will rise to 33 per cent in 2050, and
37 per cent by 2100.

“As a concept, Islamic tourism has three main components, which are the revival of Islamic cultures and
spread of Islamic values, economic benefits for Islamic societies, and deepening Islamic self-confidence,”
Smith said.

He also noted that Europe “is the main feeder market for five-star hotel demand in the UAE, accounting for
more than 50 per cent of total five-star clients. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and non-GCC Arab
countries also account for 35 per cent of the total market. Tourism revenue in the Middle East is expected to
grow by 108 per cent, to almost US$51 billion”.

Meanwhile, other speakers during the conference included: UBD professor Dr Abdul-ElAziem Farouk Gad
on latest developments of his halal scientific research on nutritional value of products, meat quality and
detection systems in halal products; Selma Djukic on the positive impact that the concept of halal can have
on the global pharmaceutical industry and market, and how Brunei is in a sound position to enter this new
potential niche market; and Adempiere Bazaar Leader Redhuan Daniel Oon on his vision for a global virtual
halal ICT hub based on the open source software and community concept.