Malaysia: Halal Street UK and Alliance Islamic Bank Sign MOU to Provide Economic Opportunities to SMEs

Kuala Lumpur, 1 October 2020 – Halal Street UK, the largest online store for Malaysian products in the United Kingdom today signed a multi-year Memorandum of Understanding with Alliance Islamic Bank (AIS), a subsidiary of Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad, to help small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) tap into the United Kingdom (UK) Halal market.

The partnership underscores both parties’ commitments in assisting SMEs to capitalise the opportunities available in the Halal industry through Halal Street UK eCommerce platforms; (B2C) and (B2B) as well as Halal in One (HiO) programme which was launched by AIS earlier this year.

The MOU was signed by Dauza Umat, Operation and Administration Manager of Halal Street UK and Alliance Islamic Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Rizal IL-Ehzan Fadil Azim at the signing ceremony today.

Hazirah Hamdan (left), Chief Executive Officer of Halnex, Datuk Mahmud Abbas ,Chairman of Halal Development Corporation, Rizal IL-Ehzan Fadil Azim, Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Islamic Bank, and Dauza Umat, Operation and Administration Manager of Halal Street UK

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Halal Street UK, Simon Suresh said in a statement, “The strategic partnership is significant for Halal Street UK as it reflects a vote of confidence in our strengths and growth potential from a leading and respected financial institution. We are pleased that Alliance Islamic Bank has come forward to help Malaysian SMEs enter promising UK Halal market and meet the booming demand of over 4 million Muslims residing there by collaborating with Halal Street UK.”

The rapid growth of Halal grocery stores and other businesses in cities all over England reflects the wider growth of ethnic minority businesses in the UK. Many also see the increasing Muslim population as an encouragement to invest in such businesses and industries.

“There is no doubt that the Halal industry in the UK and Europe is growing and will continue to do so for a long time, but it’s up to us, to seize the opportunity and steer it in the right direction by introducing more Malaysian Halal products to the country,” Simon said.

Simon noted that Halal products are not just for the Muslim community but welcomes introducing quality Malaysian Halal products to the wider non-Muslim community as well.

Apart from enabling Halal Street UK to build its inventory of Halal producing SMEs, this strategic partnership between the parties aims to spur the company’s growth as a cross border eCommerce platform to represent Malaysian products in the European region.

Rizal IL-Ehzan said SMEs in Malaysia have the advantage to tap into the global Halal segment, which is expected to grow to US$3.0 trillion in 2023. However, as of 2018, 90% of the businesses are not Halal-certified.

“With Halal in One, we plan on building an ecosystem comprising strategic partners with various Halal-centric expertise to help business owners expand their business in this sector with ease. We will continue to reach out to more business owners to grow economically by tapping into the overseas market,” he said adding that the programme is aimed to provide assistance for SMEs to succeed in the halal market in three main areas – Halal certification support, business matching and Halal funding support.