Brunei: Thumbs up for Halal cosmetics

R&D expert cites Brunei’s ideal location & setting

Bandar Seri Begawan – An expert in Halal cosmetics Science and technology from Japan has said that Brunei has the potential to develop its own Halal cosmetics industry.

Mr Tenji Takahashi, Deputy General Manager for Research and Development at Reinhalt Corporation, Japan said Brunei is an ideal place for such an endeavour in Halal cosmetics as the nation makes it a national project to certify and thus guarantee that certain products are indeed Halal. It is accepted not only by Bruneians but also Muslims from other countries, he added.

Mr Takahashi stated this while presenting his working paper entitled “Halal Cosmetics: An Expert’s View and Recommendations for the Brunei’s Initiatives” in a seminar held at the Radisson Hotel in the capital. The half-day seminar was organised by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources through the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood.

He said Brunei’s location is superior with the presence of a large Muslim market all over the world and is in an advantageous position to implement the Halal guidelines prepared and approved by the domestic law.

The deputy general manager added that the Brunei Halal Brand, along with high technology and quality from Japan, could be used to produce innovative and science-based cosmetics preferred by Muslims. As for the procurement of the variety of Halal-certified ingredients, Mr Takahashi proposed to make a non-disclosure agreement, create a system of licensing and reduce the financial burden for the supplier.

He also highlighted the principles of Halal cosmetics in Brunei, namely the production of Halal cosmetics for all Muslims without prioritising productivity or profit. Manufacturers must also show the highest product performance in terms of providing information on Halal-certified ingredients, and on the manufacturing and transportation processes, so as to ensure that the product is not detrimental to Muslims.

The seminar was aimed at increasing knowledge and awareness on advancements in Halal science and technology in the cosmetics industry and at applying these advancements to the development of the Halal cosmetics industry in the Sultanate. It was also hoped that it would promote awareness on the latest developments in the manufacturing and handling of cosmetics and the sharing of information and experience in the field of Halal science and technology.

Present as guest of honour at the seminar was Hjh Normah Suria Hayati binti Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama (Dr) Hj Awg Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources.

Mr Takahashi also discussed how modern science-based cosmetics could be deemed non-Halal for Muslims, as would be the case with cosmetics products that contain animal collagen (protein).

The Halal cosmetics business has to overcome many obstacles, he said. Information on product labels are not enough and, in some cases, usually the required information relevant to the “Halalness” of the product is not inscribed on the product label, even though it is eventually found not to contain any ethanol, pig placenta extract or animal collagen.

In most cases, the origins of raw materials are not indicated, Mr Takahashi added. Collagen could come from fish or plant extract, for instance, and ethanol could have been used to extract the ingredient of aloe. Ethanol might also have been used as the preservative of the extract.

Southeast Asian nations are promoting industrialisation in a way that it focuses on product manufacturing, thereby resulting in economic development in recent years, said Mr Takahashi.

In Asean, the purchasing capacity is also getting higher and many companies are interested in entering the booming Islamic market. However the issue is that they are not knowledgeable in the field, nor are they familiar with the Halal regulations, he added.

Also present at the seminar were Dyg Hjh Hasnah binti Ibrahim, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and senior government officers from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Ministry of Religious Affairs, and other government agencies.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin