Malaysia’s goal of becoming halal hub rife with challenges

download-150x98KUALA LUMPUR: Though Malaysia has established itself as the primary hub of Islamic finance of the world, its goal to become to the primary halal hub for foods and products are still riddled with challenges.

In his speech at the World Halal Conference 2015 here, International Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said that there are three main challenges for the halal economy going forward.

“The first challenge that we will need to address is to continue developing international collaboration between nations in the promotion of halal products across borders,” he said this morning.

“Secondly we must also work together in fixing the perception that halal food and halal products are only for Islamic nations, this is untrue because there are Muslims all over the world.”

According to data provided by Pew Research Centre, there are 2.3 billion Muslims spread across the world as of the end of 2014.

Mustapa also said that the potential  halal foods export is massive considering that Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) are right now still receiving food supplies from non-OIC countries.

“We must continue talking about the potential of the halal market so that the global market will be more aware and we will also be able to gain more partners,” he said.

According to data provided by MITI, Malaysia had exported an estimated RM10 billion in halal exports up to the end of 2014.

Mustapa was one of the four ministers speaking during the “Global Economic Outlook: Managing a World of Change” panel.

The other ministers were Nurettin Canikli, Minister of Custom and Trade of Turkey; Rashid Ahmed Mohamed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water of the United Arab Emirates and Apiradee Tantraporn, Deputy Minister of Commerce of Thailand.