Brunei Partakes In Singapore Halal Expo

Brunei Partakes In Singapore Halal

By Sonia K

Bandar Seri
Begawan –
Singapore Minister for Environment and Water
Resources cum Muslim Affairs Minister In Charge Dr Yaacob Ibrahim
officially opened the inaugural four-day Singapore International
Halal Showcase on January 24.

In attendance were officials from
the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI) and
ADEX Communications Pte Ltd, and entrepreneurs from several
countries such as Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia,
New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

The Brunei delegation was
represented by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and
Primary Resources (MIPR) Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Hamid bin Haji Mohd

Eight companies from Brunei
exhibited at the Singapore expo, which was held from Jan 24 to Jan
27 and spearheaded by the MIPR Promotion and Business Facilitation

The companies were TMM Processing,
BMC Food Industries Sdn Bhd, Halaqah Sdn Bhd, Ori Enterprise, Sabli
Food Industries Sdn Bhd, Marimin, Syarikat Mustaqqium and Ridah

During the expo, Brunei SMEs were
able to network with other entrepreneurs at the expo and showcase
their products to the public. MIPR also had the opportunity to
promote Bnmei as an investment destination and the upcoming 3rd
International Halal Product Expo and Conference to be held from
August 14 – 17.

In conjunction with the exposition,
a Halal Business Seminar was also organised under the theme The 21st
Century International Halal Markets: Asia’s Untapped Opportunities.”

The two-day seminar which commenced
on Jan 24 at the Singapore Expo was launched by Mohd Akbar Abdul
Kacler, Vice President of the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce
and Industry (SMCCI) and Chairman of SIHAS Organising Committee.

On the first day of the seminar,
Dato Haji Mohd Harnid – who was invited as a special guest speaker
presented a paper on the ‘Opportunities and Strategies in Halal
Market: Brunei’s Perspective.’

During his presentation, he touched
on areas such as opportunities in the halal industry, opportunities
in the Non-Muslim population, strategies in the halal industry,
Brunei’s strategy in the halal industry, Brunei Halal Brand as well
as the current progress of the Halal industry in Brunei.

Speaking on Brunei’s strategy in
the halal industry, he noted that Brunei’s per capita GDP is
B$47,964 – which is one of the highest in the region – may not be
sustainable in the future. This is because the underlying
socio-economic structure for that wealth is based on one industry:
the oil and gas industry.

As for the Brunei Halal Brand, he
said, “Brunei’s food production industry is not well developed. We
import a substantial amount of food products. In fact almost 80 per
cent of our food requirements are imported.

“In 2006, our importation of food
and live animals was valued at B$374.4 million. That constituted
around 14 per cent of our total import value. One of our limitations
therefore is that we don’t have the production capacity that can
compete with our neighbours.”

He continued to say, “Since we
import much of our food, the relevant authorities must ensure that
imported foods conform to strict halal requirements. That led to the
development of Brunei’s stringent halal regulatory and certification

“Halal is therefore one of our
strengths that could be used to support economic diversification
objectives. Thus, there is therefore a dual nature of our
participation in the halal industry.

“One is fulfilling a religious
obligation of ensuring that Muslims consume halal food and the
second is to take advantage of the economic opportunities in this
industry. So we decided to develop a Brunei Halal Initiative in late
2005,” he added.

Speaking on the current progress in
Brunei, he touched on the Sultanate’s targets for 2008.

He said that Brunei’s work in the
establishment of the commercial hub should be finalised to meet the
business requirements of companies interested in Brunei Halal

“I am pleased to inform you that
around 200 com- panies in Australia have indicated their
preparedness in being associated with the Brunei Halal Brand. This
includes over 160 food manufacturers and 40 companies involved in
providing services to the food industry – packaging, storage,
transport, and specialist advisory services.

“We hope that the first
accreditation of several Australian food companies will have been
completed by February 2008.

“We also plan to launch the Brand
logo inter- nationally with the products in the new brand image
being in the marketplace between the first half or third quarter of
2008. Our objective is that within five years, the Brunei Halal
Brand will be truly a major feature in the international Halal food
market,” he stressed.

Dato Haji Mohd Hamid was invited as
the panellist on Day Two of the seminar that discussed various
`Initiatives to tap into the Halal Asia Markets.’

A total of 13 speakers from six
countries shared information and insights on the market
opportunities in Asia’s halal industry as well as ideas on how the
various players in Asia may, collaborate in penetrating the vast
opportunities in Asia’s halal industry.

Participating in the discussions
were several officials from the Department of Agriculture and Policy
and Planning Division as well as managers of several Brunei
— Courtesy of Borneo