Brunei signs Halal Product Development accord with Korean company

Al-Haadi Abu Bakar The Brunei Times

South Korean biopharmaceutical firm BioLeaders Corporation is collaborating with the Brunei government in research and technical cooperation for the development of halal products.

Under an MoU signed yesterday, the Korean company will work closely with the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) through its Halal Industry Innovation Centre (HIIC) towards the investment and production of Brunei Halal-certified products for both regional and international markets.

BioLeaders Corporation engages in the development of proprietary bio technologies. Its projects include a high expression system for the mass production of industrial proteins and pharmaceutical proteins, surface display expression systems for GRAS microorganisms produced by fermented food, technical development of new functional microorganisms produced by fermented foods, and production development and applications of functional amino acid polymers.

MIPR Permanent Secretary Hjh Normah Suria Hayati Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Utama (Dr) Hj Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri said that the areas of cooperation will enhance research and development on halal products, including their formulation, processing and packaging.

images-3She also said that the cooperation will help create a new business opportunity for both parties and enhance the growth of halal products in the international market.

“With the stringent Brunei Halal standards, the Brunei Halal logo will certainly add value to products not just in the global Muslim market which is growing steadily but also the global market where people are looking for safe, wholesome and quality products,” said the permanent secretary.

She said that the credibility of the Brunei Halal certification has attracted global recognition. She added that this has encouraged foreign companies to invest in Brunei’s stringent procedures under the Brunei Halal certification process.

“I hope that with the availability of the Brunei Halal Food Standard and Halal Certification guidelines, this will set a standard where halal products produced in Brunei will have distinct advantage in the global market,” she said.

“The global market value for halal products, including food and non-food, is rising and currently estimated at US$2.1 trillion a year,” she added.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, BioLeaders Corporation’s Chief Technical Officer Professor Chul-Joong Kim said that the company hopes to leverage on the Brunei Halal brand to penetrate the Southeast Asian market.

“When we get halal certified, our products could easily be approved by the Muslim society in this region, such as Malaysia and Indonesia. I believe the Halal system in Brunei is excellent,” said Professor Kim.

He added that the company also hopes to establish a network between organisations in South Korea and the Brunei government through the collaboration.

The MoU was signed yesterday between Professor Kim and MIPR Acting Senior Special Duties Officer Hj Sabri Hj Mohd Taha.

Present to witness the signing was the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar.

Earlier this year, the ministry signed an MoU with Japan Food Research Laboratories, Osaka University’s Graduate School of Engineering and Florida State University to build local capacity in halal testing through training and attachment programmes.

The collaboration with the foreign institutions was anticipated to strengthen the capabilities of the Halal Science Centre in Kg Anggerek Desa, which brings together the expertise of the Ministry of Health, MIPR’s Department of Agriculture and Agrifood and Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

The Halal Science Centre will focus on halal products, halal analysis and halal database to support Brunei’s national agenda of being at the forefront of scientific research and development in the area of halal science and technology.