Malaysia: Jakim extends halal certification to the world

KAZAN (Russia): The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) sees vast potential in the halal industry worldwide, and aims to undertake more initiatives to further connect to other Muslim countries for equally mutual benefits, says the agency’s halal management division director Mohamad Zamri Mohamed Shapik.

He told StarBiz that Jakim, which is one of the leading global players in halal certification, is bullish about its participation at the recently concluded 15th International Economic Forum “Russia-Islamic World: Kazan Forum 2024” in Tartastan, Russia, that also saw participation from 11 other countries.

“Jakim came to Kazan with a big goal, to introduce ourselves as a body that provides halal accreditation globally.

“We want to inform other global players in the market that there is no need to go through a third party to receive the certification. Rather, they can now apply directly to Jakim,” he said.

Previously, should a foreign company or country require the halal certification that Jakim provides, it would need to go through a subsidiary company owned by the same foreign country that is based in Malaysia.

“However, now for example, an entrepreneur from Kazan can directly apply. We want to become a global player on a larger scale and continue expanding as most countries have already recognised Jakim. Hence, this step will enable us to move in that direction,” explained Mohamad Zamri.

Kazan is a new market for Malaysia, he said, adding the agency was keen to kickstart more collaboration and discussion with the officials and entrepreneurs from the region.

“During the forum, we had a confirmed discussion with RusQuality-Halal, a certification body which is looking to receive accreditations.

“We also have had some interest from a few meat suppliers from Russia looking to export halal meat to Malaysia,” added Mohamad Zamri.

Deputy Tourism Minister Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, who also attended the forum, said Malaysia’s participation this year was highly significant, given the potential collaborations with Kazan.

“We know that the majority of people living in Kazan are Muslims. The interest they have in the halal industry is great, and not just from the food perspective, but also tourism, hospitality, agriculture, trade and other sectors,” he said.

He added such strategic collaborations could prove beneficial for both countries, especially if knowledge-sharing takes place.

Meanwhile, Tatarstan Prime Minister Alexey Pesoshin said Islamic countries have always been one of Russia’s most important partners.

“In recent years, these relationships have grown steadily and strongly. Suffice to say that the trade turnover between Russia and the countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has grown by 37% in the last three years, and has amounted to more than US$156bil in turnover.

“All capacities of the Russian economy are directed to the large-scale increase of production and services, mastering of advanced technologies, creation of new industrial capacities and entire industries,” he said at the opening ceremony of the forum.

Islamic Chamber Halal Certification Services chief executive officer Ashraf El Tanbouly said there was an even higher demand for halal products today as the Muslim population globally has surpassed two billion people.

“The halal industry can be seamlessly integrated into the global market because of its tremendous opportunities. The future is rich and is evident by the success of the forum held this year and in the past years.”