KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 – The halal industry still has huge potential to be strengthened with planned and inclusive strategies, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
Its Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, said the aim of transferring the Halal Development Corporation to MITI was to ensure that the industry does not focus solely on certification but look at it as having a tremendous growth potential.
He said this during his winding up speech on the Supply (Reallocation of Appropriated Expenditure) Bill 2020 at the committee level.
Mohamed Azmin said halal exports is worth RM40.2 billion today or 4.1 per cent of the country’s total exports valued at RM986.4 billion in 2019.
“This means the potential of the halal industry still has huge room (for growth). For 2019, a total of 1,876 exporting companies of Malaysian halal products were recorded. However, 1,430 companies or 76.2 per cent comprised small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” he said.
Meanwhile, he said the global halal market size is estimated to be worth US$3 trillion currently and is expected to grow rapidly to US$7.7 trillion by 2030.
He also concurred with the views of Arau Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim who said that the industry needed new approaches in order to capitalise on the huge market potential.
Mohamed Azmin said, for instance, Australia represents the largest exporter of beef in the world while countries that imports its beef included Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Likewise, in Japan, he said the country is focusing on halal food and has targeted countries in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and ASEAN for its export markets.
Commenting on the government’s involvement in empowering the halal industry, Mohamed Azmin said the industry still requires training in enhancing expertise among the SMEs especially in increasing their contribution to the country’s gross domestic product.
He said to move forward, as the initial step, a restructuring of empowerment strategies is now being undertaken which will focus on industry development based on knowledge.
“This will be done by strengthening the nation’s halal ecosystem, enhancing trade value and industry competitiveness through growth of high potential sectors and related sectors, increasing the number of local skilled labour and professionals, as well as encouraging the commercialisation of halal product activities via adoption of high technology and innovation,” he said.
He added the country’s halal industry is too focused on the food and beverage sector, and during the Movement Control Order, almost all sectors have been badly affected following the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the local producers have been encouraged and guided to switch to online platform which has helped them to generate sales.