Halal Products Academy To Guide Halal Industry In Brunei

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Aug 16 (Bernama) — The Brunei government, which
is in the midst of establishing a Halal Products Academy soon, hoped
for it to guide the country in developing the halal industry.

The academy is likely to be the first of its kind that will facilitate
and promote collaboration between Syariah scholars and specialists in
halal science and research to make the country a step ahead from its
other regional peers.

Deputy Industry and Primary Resources Minister Datuk Paduka Hamdillah
Abdul Wahab said the academy would be an institution and a platform for
ulama, scientists and industry specialists to guide the development of
halal market in tackling some of the complex issues that have arisen
and others arising in the future.

“Halal is relatively simple, but industry, and in particular the food
industry, has become increasingly complex, and it has become
progressively clearer that a new kind of discourse is needed to ensure
that industrial producers remain within the parameters of Syariah
compliance,” he said in his keynote address at the International Halal
Market Conference 2008 here Saturday.

Hamdillah said the ongoing maturation and sophistication of the halal
industry has brought new questions for the country’s Islamic scholars
that required a new level of collaboration and understanding with the
help of scientific community and industry specialists.

The two-day conference involved about 300 participants comprising
government officials and representatives from the private sector
locally and abroad.

It was held in conjunction with the Third International Halal Products
Expo 2008 which was co-organised by three Brunei ministries — Industry
and Primary Resources, Religious Affairs and Health Ministry.

The four-day expo, which kicked off Thursday at the International
Convention Centre in Berakas, showcased a wide range of halal products
and services from 180 local and foreign companies from 14 countries.

Hamdillah said the the Brunei Halal brand, which was officially
launched by the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, would
provide a platform to develop local products and contribute to the
diversifying of the country’s social economy.

In addition, the usage of information and communication technology
(ICT) was crucial as the global scope of the halal market made the
intelligent use of software, the Internet and cutting-edge
communications technologies an intrinsic and pivotal element of the
halal market, he said.

Hamdillah said public and private partnerships was important to ensure
that programmes which have been lined up by the government were
successfully implemented.

With a population of 390,000 people, the country was poised to become
the centre of excellence in the Brunei halal brand, standard
certification, scientific research and ICT applications in five years’
time, he said.