Brunei Has Credentials For Halal Branding


HRH Princess Hjh Masna in her keynote speech at the International Halal Market Conference at 1CC yesterday

Call For Aggressive Brand-building, Roadshows At IHM Conference

Bandar Seri Begawan – Brunei has very strong credentials to provide
affordable Halal products and services, as the way of life here is
deeply rooted in the teachings of Islam.

Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said this when she graced
yesterday’s opening ceremony of the 4th International Halal Market
Conference held in conjunction with the International Halal Products
Expo 2009 at ICC.

“First (and foremost), Halal compliance is an essential part of our
commitment to fulfil Fardhu Kifayah, a collective responsibility,” Her
Royal Highness said during her sabda (keynote speech) at the conference
where she shared how the sustainable development of the Halal sector
has a three-fold importance for Brunei.

The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Halal an Engine if Growth
and Opportunity’. Since Brunei launched the Brunei Halal Brand two
years ago, it has developed a reputation for meeting high quality and
stringent Halal compliance.

“We are constantly improving the legal and regulatory infrastructure
of our food processing industry in order to guarantee our products are
of an internationally accepted standard,” HRH Princess Hjh Masna added.

Of secondary importance are Brunei’s efforts to broaden its economic
base and hence the country’s deep commitment to develop the Halal
sector, she said. This, she added, would serve as a strong foundation
to supplement Brunei’s traditional source of revenue from oil and gas.
Apart from this sector, Brunei is focussing on two other inter-related
areas, namely Islamic Finance and Eco-tourism.

The global Halal market is estimated to be around US$2 trillion a
year and the Halal food market alone is about US$630 billion, HRH
Princess Hajah Masna told the conference participants.

“This market will only grow bigger, as the demand for Halal products
stretches across the globe, reaching a cross-section of consumers, both
Muslim and non-Muslim. The Halal industry provides huge potential in
many areas to tap into, such as food, Islamic finance, eco-tourism,
pharmaceutical products, and various other forms of goods, and services
that are Syariah-compliant,” the Ambassador-at-Large said.

On the third factor for sustainable development of the Halal sector,
she said, it can further promote Brunei’s SMEs, which make up 90 per
cent of the business community in Brunei.

His Majesty’s Government, through the Ministry of Industry and
Primary Resources, Brunei Economic Development Board, other relevant
ministries and agencies, has already started to address ways to support
the SMEs. Focus has been on capacity-building, access to funding and
export markets, as well as development of a national standard and
quality regime for food, HRH said.

She said Brunei strives to provide a quality environment for
entrepreneurial excellence, to help businesses “go global”. The
launching of the Commercial Entity at the International Halal Products
Expo here two days ago, according to HRH, is one fine example of such

She also encouraged the private sector, especially the new
generation of entrepreneurs, to come forward, be proactive, nurture
bold initiatives and bright new ideas to develop this lucrative Halal

“We have initiated projects to build an Agro Technology Park (see
page 3) and a Halal science centre. I am pleased our country is also
initiating quality assured standards and guidelines for healthcare, and
pharmaceutical products,” she added.

As producers and suppliers for this market, HRH said, “We must
ensure we continue to produce products and services that are not only
Halal compliant, but competitive and sustainable.”

At a time when consumer confidence in conventional banking practices
has been shaken in the current financial turmoil, Brunei should harness
Islamic finance as a more secure alternative.

HRH Princess Hajah Masna. Said, “This could pave the way for
companies to gradually embrace and adopt an Islamic business model
through Islamic best practices in day-to-day transactions.”

Earlier, in a welcoming address by the Conference’s Chairman Dato
Paduka Haji Mohd Hamid bin Haji Jaafar, the Permanent Secretary at MIPR
said this year’s conference aims to provide conference content relevant
to the global Halal market stakeholders, content that addresses current
issues in this constantly changing new market and to showcase Brunei’s
achievements within the Halal Market.

Participants will hear ideas on the next phase in the evolution of
the Halal market, about marketing and branding as well as corporate
philosophy and structure, and the application of Awqaf principles in
modern business.

“We will hear about the latest developments in Halal standards and
guidelines, in both the food and pharmaceutical sectors, including the
latest initiatives for the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC),”
Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Hamid said.

He also touched on the new Agri-Tech Park being in its first phase
of construction and how it will soon materialise as the focal point of
the Halal sector initiatives. — Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin