Malaysia Halal Council to launch framework by year-end

 KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Halal Council expects to launch its framework, focusing on empowering local halal companies, making them visible globally and increasing the participation of Bumiputera entrepreneurs by year-end.

Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin said the Council, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, was currently working on the framework that would drive Malaysia beyond its Global Halal Hub status in 2020.

“This framework is under the Master Plan 2.0 for the development of the nation’s halal industry from 2018-2030.

“We need this plan as the previous ones were in use for about a decade, from 2008-2020.

“There has been a lot of developments with the halal industry and we do not want to wait until 2020 to introduce new plans,” he told Bernama.

The council’s main objectives include tackling issues pertaining to the halal industry and its functions would be divided between the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) and HDC.

Jakim would concentrate on the certification process, governance and matters related to syariah while HDC would focus on expanding and internationalising the halal industry.

Jamil said besides HDC and JAKIM, the council was also spearheaded by the Department of Standards Malaysia, the sole body for national standards and accreditation.

To further ensure maximum effectiveness in the production of halal items, thus putting Malaysia on the forefront of halal goods production, all halal bodies under various industries would be incorporated under this council, he said.

Jamil also said the council planned to have at least four meetings this year, and so far two have been conducted.

The recent meeting discussed on the empowerment of Bumiputera companies in the halal industry.

In 2015, Bumiputera companies contributed some RM2.6 billion or 6.6 per cent of the total exports of halal products and until last year, a total of 2,878 Bumiputera companies obtained the Malaysian Halal Certification compared with only 579 in 2010.

As for HDC, Jamil said the corporation had always wanted to function as the focal point for the country’s halal development and at the same time, contribute more.

“We also want to produce more companies and compete healthily, and not just in terms of exports and investment. HDC hopes to help create more job opportunities especially for youths,” he added.

Last year, Malaysia’s halal exports stood at RM42 billion from RM39 billion registered in 2015.

“We are expecting a similar uptrend this year,” said Jamil.

It is forecast that by 2020, Malaysia’s halal exports would exceed RM50 billion. — Bernama