Malaysia Tips "Halal" Exports To Surge

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP)–Malaysia said Monday its exports of “halal” goods will
defy the economic downturn and surge to $900 million this year, up 40% from two
years ago.

Trade minister Mustapa Mohamed said there was strong demand for halal products
– deemed acceptable under Islamic laws – from the 57 nations in the Organisation
of the Islamic Conference.

“While intra-OIC trade is still low, I am very confident that given
the…growing demand for halal products…Malaysia will register a significant
increase in trade,” he said according to the official news agency Bernama.

Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim country, is trying to position itself as a
global hub for the halal industry.

Under the concept of halal, pork and its byproducts, alcohol and animals not
slaughtered according to procedures laid out in the Islamic holy book the Koran
are forbidden.

Speaking to a forum on the halal industry, Mustapa said the potential of the
global halal market, estimated to be worth $635 billion currently, remained
largely untapped.

“The current global Muslim population stands at 1.8 billion. This represents
28% of the total world population,” he said.

“However, the total global halal food market is significantly lower at 16%
compared to the size of the global food market, meaning there is a significant