Malaysia: Zahid says that Halal certification benchmarking coming soon

KUALA LUMPUR: Benchmarking with regard to the issuance of halal certificates to entrepreneurs will be announced in the near future, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Zahid, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, said a discussion was held over the matter recently with the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) and the Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

“We will coordinate according to the benchmarks that have been determined and we will look at all the conditions that have been issued.

“In the next halal meeting, I will ask for a certain period so that benchmarking can be done, on whether it (the application) has passed or not passed, or whether it requires some improvement, there must be a period for improvement and not too long as well. This will be determined by Jakim, the Halal Development Corporation and Miti,” he told reporters after a working visit to the Mara Halal Industrial Park here today.

Zahid was asked to comment on claims that some entrepreneurs found it difficult to obtain a halal certificate.

Meanwhile, in his speech, Zahid said the opportunity for the development of the halal industry was wide open as global halal trade was projected to reach RM22.34 trillion by 2030.

“The value of Malaysia’s domestic halal market is projected to increase to RM400 billion, thus contributing 11 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2030,” he said.

At the ceremony, he launched the rebranding of the Mara Food Industry Complex (KIMAR) to the Mara Halal Industrial Park.

Zahid said Mara’s achievement in having almost the entire halal entrepreneurial ecosystem was something to be proud of.

The ecosystem, he said, included training facilities to develop human capital, business development and provided facilities in the form of support required by businesses, such as incubators, business premises that meet halal industry specifications, halal logistics and access to domestic and international markets.

According to Zahid, the halal industry has been identified as a strategic and high-impact sector under the 12th Malaysia Plan, that will increase Malaysia’s capacity and capability in increasing workforce development, drive industrial development, increase product competitiveness and make Malaysia a global halal hub.

He said through the halal industry development programme cultivated by Mara last year, a total of 12,500 entrepreneurs received benefits in terms of entrepreneurship facilities through training, grants, business financing and rental for premises.

These entrepreneurs, he said, managed to generate annual sales of more than RM2 billion and have created more than 15,000 job opportunities, adding that he would be revisiting the Mara Halal Industrial Park in the next six months to look at the progress made. — BERNAMA