Halal hub takes shape in Gambang, Malaysia
By SIMON KHOO
KUANTAN: Pahang is pressing ahead with the Gambang Halal Hub, one of the key initiatives of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) masterplan.
An RM11mil complex is being built on an 18ha piece of land under the revised project that has been handed to Pahang State Development Corporation (PKNP).
PKNP chief executive Datuk Lias Mohd Nor said his organisation was in the midst of negotiations with several firms to be the anchor tenant in the complex.
The halal hub was first mooted about eight years ago, and incorporated as a key project in the ECER in 2007.
Despite numerous pledges to launch the project, it never took off, leaving the state government, particularly Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob frustrated.
“Despite giving the company assistance in the form of a land swap, building an access road and issuing supporting documents to the bank, the firm could not start operations on the project.
“We have no choice but to move in and take steps to spearhead the development of the halal hub via PKNP,” said Adnan.
Speaking at the opening of a state-level halal industry development seminar in Kuantan on Monday, he said there was huge potential in the industry as the global market for halal food was worth US$635bil (RM2.26tril).
He added that the value was projected to increase to US$642bil (RM2.28tril) next year.
“Even non-Muslim countries such as Singapore and Thailand are major producers of halal food.
“Pahang is taking the lead in Malaysia and putting high hopes in the Gambang Halal Hub,” he said.
“The state government will continue to provide incentives to entrepreneurs to boost halal food production and help the growth of small and medium industries,” added Adnan.
According to Lias, the complex is in Taman Teknologi Pahang, neighbouring the originally earmarked location.
“The building is 45% completed. It will be big enough for 40 small and medium enterprises to set up manufacturing plants,” he said.
In the first phase, three entrepreneurs are expected to start operations early next year processing herb- and seafood-based food products.