BRUNEI can tap into the microbial wealth of its rainforests to become a major player in the global halal market, said a senior official from the Ministry of Primary Industry and Resources (MIPR).
MIPR Permanent Secretary Hjh Normah Suria Hayati Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama Dr Hj Mohd Jamil Al Sufri said bacterial and fungal microbes can be turned into enzymes and amino acids that can replace non-halal ingredients in food.
The biodiversity of the forest and marine environment provides a lot of natural products that may cure deadly diseases and can be used even as food colouring, she said at a briefing on ASEAN trade and investment at the Holiday Lodge yesterday.
“There is an enormous opportunity to explore the halal industry – an opportunity to tap into the US$1.2 trillion halal market value.”
The world’s Muslim population currently stands at 1.8 billion people, driving the growing demand for halal food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
“This is an opportunity not only for Brunei but for all Muslim countries as the consumer is looking for credible halal certification,” said Hjh Normah.
Brunei’s plans to diversify its economy includes expanding its halal industry and tapping into the wealth of the rainforests.
The permanent secretary said the latter would not involve destruction of Brunei’s forests, but more research on products that can be developed above and below ground.
“This will not happen without strong research and development. The aim is to have sustainable industry that will create suitable jobs for Bruneians.”
The briefing on ASEAN trade and investment was organised for civil society groups by Brunei’s Council on Social Welfare.
The Brunei Times