Malaysia: Penang Halal expo hosts global players

penangGEORGE TOWN: The Penang International Halal Expo and Conference (Pihec) 2013 has attracted exhibitors from a host of foreign countries.

Held for the fourth consecutive year at the Penang International Sports Arena (PISA) and Eastin Hotel Penang, the annual event sees participants from Belgium, Spain, Iran, New Zealand setting up booths alongside exhibitors from the Asean region.

State Religious Affairs, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim said the expo was a strategic platform for local and foreign players in the halal market to converge.

“This year’s total of 164 booths is a record,” he said, adding that the three-day expo and conference featured exhibitors from the food, beverage, cosmetics, pharmaceutical fashion, IT, education, property and financial sectors.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who opened the event at PISA yesterday, said Penang was an ideal halal hub because of its strategic location and large pool of skilled human talent.

“Our human resources are our most important advantage because you can have the best ‘hardware’ but without the right ‘software’, it’s difficult to succeed,” he said.

He said Penang only started to focus on the halal industry four years ago but the effort had since paid off.

Pihec, which opens from 10am to 8pm, ends tomorrow.

During the event, two publications — ‘Experience Penang, Muslim Travel Guide 2013’ and ‘Halal Index’, were launched.