Malaysia: SMES urged to grab opportunities in Halal sector

Industri-Halal-Malaysia-300x225KUALA LUMPUR: The government has urged local small and medium enterprise (SME) players to take advantage of the huge opportunities in the multi-billion dollar halal food and non-food industry globally.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said only 20 per cent of the demand for halal food and non-food products could be met globally.

The size of the halal food sector and non-food products such as healthcare items, cosmetics, hotel and catering and other services is estimated at US$790 billion annually.

“With 80 per cent of the market left to be explored, SMEs must grab the opportunities by improving the quality of their products to meet the standard required to break into the international market,” he said at the “SME Mentoring” Programme Awards Ceremony here yesterday.

He also said the global halal market, with an estimated value of more than US$2.3 trillion a year, could contribute positively to the country’s economy.

Meanwhile, Halal Development Industry Corp (HDC) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin said HDC hopes to see the number of local certified halal ingredient manufacturers to increase this year.

Jamil said HDC has about 200 halal manufacturing companies certified by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia.

“We are targeting at least 300 new companies to enter the halal industry annually, with around 100 halal-certified companies coming from the halal ingredients business.”

Organised by HDC, SME Corp Malaysia and Nestlé (M) Bhd, the business mentoring programme seminar could help SMEs expand the halal product market through increasing productivity, quality and marketing.

It has attracted 350 participants and 243 companies nationwide since it was introduced in 2009.