Malaysia: RM340mil worth of deals done at Halal showcase

KUALA LUMPUR: Some RM340mil worth of halal deals have been sealed during business matching sessions held in conjunction with the ongoing International Halal Showcase (Mihas), said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad.

Over 300 foreign buyers from 52 countries participated in the business meetings with local companies, he said. The buying mission was organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade).

Speaking at the launching of the Malaysia Halal Week here Wednesday, Mustapa said he was impressed with the large turnout and the quality of participants, adding that more than 62% of Mihas participants were from non-OIC countries.

“Mihas is increasingly being used as a launching platform for halal non-food products including halal certified fragrances, tableware and paint brush,” he said, adding that halal was seen not just as a religious obligation but a lifestyle choice.

The Halal Week, which started on Monday and ends on Saturday, consists of the World Halal Forum (WHF), the World Halal Research Summit and Mihas.

Mustapa also lauded the Summit and the Forum initiatives which he said were aligned to the Government’s policy to promote innovation and strengthen Malaysia’s position as a global halal hub.

“I welcome this focus on the need to inspire halal innovation and research, particularly on exploring the possibilities of developing new and alternative products for the halal industry,” he said, adding that WHF has played an integral part in strategically positioning Malaysia at the focal point of the halal industry.

The halal sector, Mustapa said, was a new source of economic growth with RM35bil worth of halal goods and services exported last year. The figure excludes crude palm oil.

“There are now 4,758 halal-certified companies in the country. Some 700 are actively exporting Malaysian-made goods and services.”

Halal, he said, would be included into entry point projects for agriculture, palm oil, tourism, healthcare and wholesale and retail sectors. Mustapa said plans were also underway to develop prototypes for halal vaccines, gelatin-free capsule and palm oil-based emulsifies for pharmaceutical products.