Brunei seeks regional Halal industry hub status

BRUNEI Darussalam is working towards positioning itself as a Halal industry hub in the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and ASEAN regions, said Deputy Permanent Secretary (Management, Cooperatives and Industry) at the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry Hajah Tutiaty binti Haji Abdul Wahab.

The Sultanate is currently focussing on the advancement of its Halal food and beverages, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, she noted in her welcoming remarks at the Halal Business Investment seminar, held as part of the ongoing Brunei Halal Showcase (BruHAS) 2018 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas yesterday.

“The global Halal market is lucrative. Key to this is a fast-growing world Muslim population which is projected to reach 2.2 billion in 2030, creating a market valued at USD2.3 trillion.

“The realisation of Halal growth objective requires not only an understanding of Halal certification and other related processes, but also knowledge about viable export markets and suitable market access strategies. The premise is not just to link Brunei Darussalam with the Asia Pacific market and beyond, but also to do it in a sustainable manner,” she added.

Hajah Tutiaty noted that as the frontline agency to promote the Halal industry, the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEBD) has a clear focus on its initiatives to develop export-oriented industries through comprehensive research, analysis and formulation of strategic plans.

Chief Executive Officer of Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) Loo Yau Soon speaks at the seminar. – PHOTOS: AZLAN OTHMAN

“BEDB also facilitates foreign investment, working closely with investors and assisting them by providing necessary information on developmental requirements as well as laws and regulations of the country.

“With respect to the local Halal ecosystem, the Halal Food Control Division of the Ministry of Religious Affairs has all relevant information pertaining to the Halal certification process – a key factor in understanding and leveraging on the Halal and Syariah-compliant credentials of Brunei Darussalam,” she noted.

“When such elements are harmonised, the end result can be observed in the likes of Ghanim International Corporation Sdn Bhd,” she added, inviting part-icipants to listen to the Ghanim success story in developing, marketing and promoting their ‘bruneihalalfood’ products in international markets.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of BEDB Loo Yau Soon in his presentation highlighted that investors from abroad are attracted to invest in the Sultanate, thanks to its clean and green environment, low tax regime, political stability and dedicated investment areas available for foreign direct investment (FDI).

“A Taiwan company has invested in Brunei to produce and export sashimi blue shrimp due to the availability of clean water in the country which is a wonderful place for foreign companies to invest. Singapore has set up vertical fish farming in the Sultanate while companies from China have invested in sea water fish farming,” he added.

Loo Yau Soon also highlighted the big potential of Islamic tourism in the Sultanate.