By Aina Nasa, New Straits Times
SERI KEMBANGAN: Malaysia is aiming for a whopping RM50 billion worth of halal exports in 2020, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
Speaking at the launch of Asean Halfest 2017 here today, he said currently, the halal industry has garnered RM42 billion worth of exports.
“We aim for RM50 billion in three years time, with 330,000 job opportunities opened.
“Today, the halal industry under the Malaysia Halal Council has provided 248,508 job opportunities.”
Mustapa also said the ministry wanted the gross domestic product of the halal industry at 8.7 per cent in 2020, from its current 7.5 per cent.
He also paid tribute to the evolution of the halal industry in Malaysia, which kickstarted back in 1974 when the halal certification process was introduced.
Launching the sixth edition of the Halfest was deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who in his speech rallied entrepreneurs, corporations and industry players to strive to ensure local halal products were high-end and at the highest quality.
“Malaysia must aim for local halal products to be high-end not only in terms of quality, but also packaging, branding and marketing strategy.
“Halal is not confined to the product and logo as people know, but other elements as well.”
Ahmad Zahid, who is also chairman of the Malaysia Halal Council, has high hopes for Malaysia to be at the forefront of the halal industry, catering to 23 per cent of the global Muslim population and beyond.
“The template set for halal products are currently at the highest benchmark.
“This was made possible by collaborations from the Malaysia Halal Council, industry players, banking industries, religious authorities and even the scientific community.”
Asean Halfest 2017, held today until Aug 27, consists of over 500 booths and 15,000 innovative and quality halal products and services.
It is expected to draw 100,000 local and international visitors, providing a transformational perspective of halal products that extend beyond economic value.