Muhyiddin: Let ministry promote halal hub

KUALA LUMPUR: The International Trade
and Industry Ministry is offering to take the lead in promoting the
country as a halal hub.

Its minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
said that although the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) had
been tasked with promoting the halal food and non-food industry, the
ministry had been there longer, and had the manpower and resources to
do the job.

“The HDC was initiated a few years ago, but we don’t
seem to know what it has done, what direction it is taking and what
specific role it is playing in promoting the country as a halal hub,”
he told reporters after briefing Matrade officials here yesterday.

believe the ministry can undertake it, if the Cabinet directs it to do
so. It has the necessary expertise. It is the most qualified body to
coordinate this industry.”

The ministry will present a working
paper on its offer to the Cabinet, he said. “We need to move forward.
Right now, I don’t see things moving.”

Muhyiddin said the
ministry would also decide whether to expand the scope of collaboration
with international producers of halal food and non-food products.

international manufacturers have expressed their intention to work with
Malaysia to get the right certification for halal products and to sell
them on the global market,” he said.

“Since we have limited
capacity and ability to produce halal products, and face constraints in
terms of resources, capital and raw materials, we have to see what can
be done.”

Muhyiddin said the working paper would also touch on the impact of the global economic downturn on the Malaysian economy.

However, he was hopeful that with continuous aggressive promotion, the country could again reach the RM1tril trade figure it hit last year.