MALAYSIA is doing well in the halal industry as there are more than 5,500 halal certified companies with 92% are small medium entrepreneurs, thus showing the robustness of this sector.
In Arabic, halal is defined as permissable to use or engage according to Islamic law.
In 2011, the industry created 97,000 jobs and now this figure has gone up to 250,000 whereas investments into the industry has reached more than doubled to RM10.6 billion last year.
Malaysian halal export last year was RM39 billion, compared to RM24 billion.
In the eyes of the world, Malaysia is the top country in Global Halal Industry, in front of United Arab Emerates (UAE), Bahrain and Oman with GIE score of 116, almost double of UAE at the second place.
With such robustness, it is not surprising for Malaysia to be number one in halal food, Islamic Finance and in halal travel and number three in Halal Pharma and Cosmetic Indicator.
In view of that, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin said, Malaysia is number one in the top industries of the halal world, by a huge margin.
“And this will grow further as Islam becomes the fastest growing religion in the world and the key factor of growth is the in-built customer base that comes with the industry – the Muslim population. And the future is only getting brighter,” he added.
There were around 1.6 billion Muslims in the world back in 2010. In 2050, it is projected that this amount will increase to 2.8 billion.
Khairy said: “We are now 23% of global population and in 2050, there will be three Muslims for every 10 people in the world. Islam is expected to grow by 73%, more than double the rate of Christians (35%) and Hindus (34%).
“This is dynamic growth, with just 20% of Muslims living in the Middle East and the North Africa Region. Ten percent all Europeans are expected to be Muslims and India will eclipse Indonesia as the country with the highest number of Muslims in 2050.”
Khairy revealed the information in his speech at the World Halal Conference 2016 held in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) recently.
He also said, Islam is not only the fastest growing religion in the world, but also the youngest. Our median age is the lowest in the world at 23 years old, seven years younger than the median age of non-Muslims (30).
“Our fertility rate is 3.1 children, 0.8 higher the rest combined. As of 2014, the adult median age is 33 years old, compared to the world average of 46 years old. However, 44% of our adult population is between the age of 18-29 years old, compared to the world average of 22%. In Malaysia, 46% of our population are below the age of 40, of which 7.3 million are Muslims,” he said.
Khairy also quoted, in the United States, 35% of its Muslim population are young people.
Looking at the big potential growth in the global halal industry, the Malaysian government has established the Halal Industry Master Plan (HIMP) which was developed in 2008 to outline key strategies and action plans in intensifying the development of this industry until 2020.
He further said, the only way to truly fulfil the potential of halal industry is for players to embrace the different trends, lifestyle and worldview of youths today.
The youth of today is very much technology-dependent. In Malaysia, 60% of the total population uses the internet with 16 million tweets posted everyday and 5.5 million Malaysian accounts on Instagram. More than one-third of the population have Facebook accounts, of which 40% are between the age of 18-24.
Secondly, the youth of today has more cross-cultural interactions than any generation in history.This is helped by the internet that provides borderless connectivity within seconds.
Third, the youth of today care about quality. Quality encompasses a lot of things, from prices to suppliers to customer service to authenticity to social responsibility.
Fourth, youths are democratised buyers.Youths use all means available to assess products before buying them and they will tell their friends about it.
Social Media has become the number one tool for shopping information as a result. 33% of millennials rely mostly on blogs before they make a purchase. Six out of 10 want the providers to engage with them on social media before purchase.