Malaysia: MIHAS generates $42M for Philippine firms

Business World — Janina C. Lim
MIHAS Halal exhibition

PHILIPPINE exhibitors generated $42.08 million worth of sales and investment leads from over 300 foreign buyers at the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) last month, led by food products.

In a statement Thursday, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said 24 companies exhibited Philippine halal-certified products, as well as some of the country’s top tourism destinations, in a national pavilion set at the exhibit that ran four days to April 6 in Kuala Lumpur.

Firms from the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone generated a total of $30.15 million worth of investment leads while halal products and services generated $11.93 million of sales and orders, up from the $10 million in 2018.

DTI’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan said 11 out of 24 companies were first-time participants, part of an effort to tap a global halal market estimated at $3.2 trillion.

The eleven new companies were Aliments Makkhan Bistro and Café; Baker’s Field Enterprises; B&C Healthy Snack Foods, Inc.; Cassava Growers and Processors Association; EJT Food Products; Gee’s Agri Coco Products; General Nutrifoods Phils, Inc.; Herbio Agrinature Processing Center; Mira’s Turmeric Products; Permex Producer and Exporter Corp.; and RK Trading and Services.

Returning companies were Ahya Coco Organic Food Manufacturing Corp.; Alter Trade Corp.; Asian Halal Centre; Castillejos Agri-Farms, Inc.; Central Affirmative Co., Inc.; C&H Cosmetics Industry; Fruits of Life, Inc.; Greenlife Coconut Product Phils., Inc.; Magic Melt Foods, Inc.; MFP Home of Quality Products; Psalmstre Ent., Inc.; Stalder Laboratories, Inc.; and Wellness Care Int’l Corp.

Among the best-selling Philippine halal products were cassava chips, coconut water, virgin coconut oil, turmeric brew and canned tuna. For non-food products, whitening soaps and perfumes sold the most.

“We have been successful in our return to showcase our premier halal-certified products and make a statement that our country is ready to meet the demands of the growing global halal market,” said Ms. Suaco-Juan.

MIHAS is considered the world’s largest annual halal event, offering networking and business opportunities for halal exhibitors and buyers. In 2017, it welcomed over 22,000 trade visitors from more than 70 countries.

The four-day event is hosted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and organized by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation in association with the Halal Industry Development Corp. and the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia.

The DTI aims to increase the country’s exports of halal products by 6 to 8% to as much as $605 million in 2019, from $560 million in 2018. Of the halal exports last year, 90% were food and non-alcoholic beverages.

The DTI estimates that the country currently has more than a thousand halal-certified products.