By Sharifah Pirdaus Syed Ali
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 (Bernama) — Halal Fiesta Malaysia 2013 (Halfest 2013), the country’s largest halal consumer exhibition has received good response, with more than 25,000 visitors to date.
The event, from Oct 2-6, is organised by Shapers Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
Its Chief Executive Officer Mohd Shukri Abdullah said despite this year’s exhibition being held at the Mine’s Exhibition Centre in Seri Kembangan, and not at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) as in previous years, the response had not slackened.
“The response is tremendously satisfying, considering the current venue is some distance from the city centre and not that easily accessible via public transport.
“The response at the Mines is actually on par with that when held at the PWTC. Though held on working days with just a weekend, we are confident of achieving the targeted 70,000 in visitors,” he told Bernama, on the sidelines of the Halfest 2013 Gala Dinner here last night.
On the exhibitors for this year, Shukri said their quality had improved, but with room for improvement in terms of innovation and quality of packaging.
The exhibition has 600 booths covering halal consumables such as food and beverages and non-consumable products such as cosmetics, as well as herbal products, packaging and food processing machinery.
Meanwhile, Datuk Syed Hussein Al Habshee, Chairman of Shapers Malaysia, in his speech at the Gala Dinner, expressed his willingness to let the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development take over Halfest, from next year.
On this note, Shukri said that Halfest needs financial support from the government to boost the agenda to promote halal entrepreneurship among the rural population, while creating more job opportunities for them.
The Halfest initiatives are in line with government’s objective of increasing the number of rural Bumiputera entrepreneurs to become more dynamic, competitive, resilient and committed.