Amir Yusof, channelnewsasia.com
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government has come up with new methods to enhance its halal certification system in its push to be a global halal hub, deputy prime minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said on Wednesday (Apr 3).
Speaking at an appreciation dinner in conjunction with the Global Halal Summit 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Wan Azizah outlined that the Malaysian Department of Islamic Development (JAKIM), the country’s government body that issues halal certification, has developed some initiatives to improve its services.
Among them was the formation of a halal international research academy to promote applied and advanced studies on halal ingredients.
Wan Azizah highlighted that the academy has led to the introduction of a halal journal, a compendium of international researches within the halal supply chain in the relevant industries.
Another initiative she highlighted was the international halal authority board, a “closed-door discussion” of renowned global halal authorities all working towards the harmonisation of the standards among member organisations.
Wan Azizah also highlighted that as of Feb 13, 2019, JAKIM has recognised 78 foreign halal certification bodies from 45 countries, and she added that this figure is expected to grow in the future.
Commenting on these statistics, she said: “JAKIM’s recognition programme for foreign halal certification bodies is the most stringent and sought-after bilateral halal system recognition programme in the world.”
Wan Azizah also stressed that that this year’s edition of the global halal summit is Malaysia’s “strongest and most consistent push” towards becoming a global halal hub.
MIHAS 2019 TO BE ‘BEST’ EVER
As part of the summit, the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2019 opened on Wednesday, and will end on Saturday (Apr 6).
MIHAS 2019 is the region’s biggest halal event encompassing Malaysian and foreign exhibitors showcasing products in food and beverage as well as cosmetics, pharmaceutical products and modest fashion.
Located at Malaysia’s international trade and exhibition centre (MITEC), this year’s programme boasts around 1,000 exhibitors.
The event was divided across various segments, encompassing Malaysian companies, as well as separate areas encompassing pavilions showcasing firms from Japan, South Korea, France, Taiwan, China, Vietnam and many other countries.
At the Japanese pavilion, halal Japanese cuisine such as beef cubes and ramen were served, and the France pavilion also showcased a French firm selling halal certified wine.
MIHAS’ 2019 organiser Malaysia Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) said it expects this year’s edition to draw about 25,000 visitors.
The 2018 edition saw around 21,000 trade visitors from 72 countries and resulted in trade worth approximately US$370 million.
Speaking to media on Wednesday night, MATRADE CEO Wan Latiff Wan Musa said he expects the attendance for MIHAS 2019 to exceed the previous year.
“Based on our opening day visitor numbers and feedback, this is the best MIHAS so far,” he said.
“We recorded more than 7,000 visitors on our opening, as compared to just 4,000 visitors (in 2018). So we are hopeful.”