Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Yang Berhormat Dato’ Mustapa Mohamed,
Minister of International Trade and Industry
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Halim Mohammad,
Chairman of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE)
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dr Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim,
Chairman of Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC)
Yang Berbahagia Datuk Mohd. Nakhaie Haji Ahmad,
Chairman of Islamic Dakwah Foundation Malaysia (YADIM)
Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Noharuddin Nordin,
Chief Executive Officer of MATRADE
Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Seri Jamil Bidin,
Chief Executive Officer of Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC)
Members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and a very good morning to all of you.
I am very pleased to be invited today to officiate
the Sixth International Halal Showcase, MIHAS 2009 and the second World
Halal Research Summit 2009. Once again, Malaysia is hosting this
important gathering of Halal business and research communities from all
around the world. In this regard, I would like to congratulate the
Ministry of International Trade and Industry and its agency, MATRADE
for the successful organisation of MIHAS 2009.
In May 2006, I had the opportunity to officiate the
third MIHAS on behalf of the Prime Minister then. From the figures
quoted by the Minister of International Trade and Industry in his
speech, I am pleased to note that MIHAS has grown significantly over
the last three years. The presence of a large number of exhibitors,
both local and international, as well as buyers at MIHAS 2009, is
clearly an indication that MIHAS has established itself as the premier
international exhibition for Halal products and services.
World Halal Research Summit 2009 organised by the Halal Industry
Development Corporation, HDC for the first time in conjunction with
MIHAS is timely, given the importance of research and technology for
the further development of the Halal industry. I would like to
congratulate HDC for this initiative.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Halal industry is touted as a new growth sector
in light of the huge potential in this market. The rising affluence of
Muslims worldwide and the increasing awareness on Halal have created
high demand for Halal products and services. In referring to Halal, the
business opportunities are not only confined to the food and non-food
sector but also covers the services sector such as finance and banking,
insurance, education and training, research, certification,
consultancy, logistics, healthcare and travel and tours.
It is estimated that the global value of the Halal
market is USD2.1 trillion annually. The size of this market is
certainly a lucrative business proposition for entrepreneurs. In
addition, the increasing awareness among non-Muslims on the quality
attributes of Halal products adds further to the opportunities
available in this industry.
Realising the large potential of the Halal business
and the country’s strength, Malaysia has positioned itself to become
the Global Halal Hub. To achieve this vision, Malaysia has put in place
the necessary policy framework, institutional support and
infrastructure facilities for the development of the industry. The
Third Industrial Master Plan, 2006 – 2020 and the Ninth Malaysia Plan,
2006 – 2010 have outlined in detail the policies, strategies and
programmes for the development of the Halal industry. These encompass
harmonising the Halal certification process, promoting investment in
Halal activities, enhancing R&D, establishing Halal parks and
strengthening the institutional capacity of organisations involved in
the development and promotion of Halal products and services.
To spearhead and coordinate the overall development
of the Halal industry, the Government has established the Halal
Industry Development Corporation, HDC in September 2006. The Government
has in May 2008 approved the Halal Industry Master Plan which outlines
the strategies and action plans for Malaysia to become the leader in
innovation, production and trade in Halal products and services.
The two main objectives of the Master Plan are:
i. To make Malaysia a Global Halal Reference Centre for certification, standards, development, training and R&D, and
focus on key sectors, namely specialty food, cosmetics & personal
care, halal ingredients, halal pharmaceutical and livestock that will
contribute to the country’s GDP.
The implementation of the Plan will be carried out
in 3 phases. The first phase will cover the period 2008 to 2010 and
will focus on making Malaysia a Global Halal Reference Centre. The
emphasis during the second phase covering the period 2010 to 2015 will
be the development of the key sectors identified in the plan. The goal
of the final phase is to develop Malaysian companies into global
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In my view, Malaysia has a competitive edge in the
development of the Halal industry. It is a modern Islamic country with
an open economy, well developed physical and institutional
infrastructure, strong manufacturing base and a Government that is
supportive of the initiative.
Another added advantage that Malaysia has is its
Halal certification and logo which are well recognised and accepted
worldwide by industry and consumers alike. This Halal certification
embodies both aspects of religious obligations and global best
practices. Malaysia has been in the forefront in developing standards
for the Halal industry that meet international best practices. A
significant milestone was the adoption of Malaysia’s MS1500:2004 as the
international Halal standard by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
This standard is the only reference on Halal under
the WTO, which provides guidelines on labeling of Halal food products.
I am happy to note that this year, with the introduction of MS2200, the
Malaysian Halal Standard has now been expanded to cover cosmetics and
personal care products. Malaysia is currently working towards expanding
Halal standards to cover other industries including pharmaceuticals,
logistics and catering services. We are willing and ready to share our
expertise, experience and knowledge in developing standards for Halal
industries with other countries.
Today, we are proud to see that the Malaysian Halal
Standard is being used by some world renowned multinational companies
and MNCs such as Nestle, Colgate Palmolive, Ajinomoto and Unilever. In
addition, Nestle has established its Centre of Excellence in Malaysia
for the Nestle Group utilising Malaysian Halal Standard and logo for
their Halal products. According to AT Kearney, Nestle has become the
biggest food manufacturer in the Halal sector with more than USD3
billion in annual sales in Islamic countries.
In the distribution of Halal products, global
hypermarkets such as Tesco and Carrefour are currently sourcing and
retailing a wide range of Malaysian Halal products in their outlets.
This is a testimony that the Malaysian Halal logo is an accepted brand
worldwide. In this regard, I would like to urge both Malaysian and
foreign companies to leverage upon Malaysian Halal Standard and logo to
further expand market access for their products.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
While the Government has taken various initiatives
to support the development of the Halal industry, the realisation of
the country’s vision to be the leader in this industry requires active
participation by the private sector. In this regard, the private sector
must intensify their investments in new production areas, upgrading
existing facilities, research and development, technology acquisition,
marketing and promotion.
A wide range of incentives both fiscal and
non-fiscal, as well as infrastructure support have been put in place to
assist the private sector to enhance their capacity to meet market
demands. Incentives are also available to encourage foreign investments
in this sector. Additional incentives were announced by the government
last year in the form of 10 year tax exemption for Halal Park
operators, companies setting up operations in Halal Parks and companies
providing Halal industrial logistics.
The Government has designated a number of industrial
areas for the development of integrated Halal parks nationwide for the
production of Halal products and services. These include the Halal
parks in Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ), Pulau Indah in Selangor, Tanjung
Manis in Sarawak and Gambang in Pahang. To take advantage of the
infrastructure and facilities available at these Halal parks, I would
like to invite both Malaysian and foreign companies to consider
locating their operations in these Halal parks.
I would also like to urge the Malaysian private
sector to proactively seek new ways to expand into the Halal industry
in order to ensure that our capacity to supply Halal products and
services is sustainable. To fast-track entry into the global Halal
marketplace, Malaysian companies should consider as a strategy,
establishing linkages with international brands of Halal products,
either through equity participation or through acquisition of renowned
It is also imperative that we establish strategic
alliances among industry players, both locally and overseas in order to
leverage on each other’s strength, be it in the supply of raw
materials, ingredients, technology, distribution networks and branding.
I again call on the Malaysian private sector including
Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) to take the lead in forging
strategic partnerships with both domestic and international
corporations in the Halal industry.
I would also like to reiterate the importance of
nurturing closer relationships with our trading partners. Going
forward, Malaysian companies should capitalise on the strong relations
that Malaysia has with the OIC countries, Africa and China. The
opportunities in the Halal sector in these countries are huge and
should be explored to the fullest.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
To facilitate the shift towards higher value-added
activities in Halal, research and development is crucial. R&D
findings will assist in the formulation of fatwas and support
traceability and quality control within the industry. In addition,
research findings will also assist in identifying alternative
ingredients, product development and commercialisation of Halal
products and services.
The organisation of the World Halal Research Summit
today is appropriate as it provides a platform for scientists,
researchers, scholars and academicians to share and exchange their
research findings, identifying emerging technologies and addressing
issues and challenges within the Halal industry. I hope this two-day
summit will further contribute to the growth and development of the
global Halal industry.
The current global economic slowdown has affected
most industries. However, it is heartening to note that the economic
downturn has not adversely affected the overall performance of the
Halal industry, particularly in the food sector. This is evident from
the increase in Malaysia’s exports of processed food by 39 per cent in
2008 to RM12.1 billion. In addition, with the increase in global
incidences arising from microbiological and chemical contaminations,
Halal food is gaining strong acceptance among both Muslim and
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would also like to highlight some of the
distinctive features in the area of Islamic finance in Malaysia,
another important business within the Halal value chain. Malaysia’s
Islamic financial industry distinguishes itself as one of the proven
platforms for conducting Islamic finance activities. The vibrancy and
dynamism of Malaysia’s Islamic financial system is reflected in its
continual product innovation, the diversity of domestic and
international financial institutions, wide range of Islamic financial
instruments, a comprehensive Islamic financial infrastructure and the
adoption of global regulatory, legal and Shariah best practices.
In addition, Malaysia also holds the distinction of
being the world’s first country to have a full-fledged Islamic
financial system operating in parallel to the conventional banking
system; and has placed strong emphasis on human capital development in
Islamic finance to ensure the availability of Islamic finance talent.
Leveraging on the strengths of its domestic sector,
Malaysia has launched the Malaysia International Financial Centre
(MIFC) initiatives to offer its value propositions in Islamic finance
to the world, to leverage on its inherent strengths, advantages and
experience to tap the trillion-dollar opportunity that awaits financial
institutions worldwide. Under the MITC initiative, financial
institutions are welcome to use Malaysia as a platform for their
Islamic financial activities.
I would also like to inform that various incentives
are available to foreign financial institutions participating in the
MIFC initiative including new licenses for conducting foreign currency
businesses, attractive tax incentives and facilitative immigration
policies. With these in place, foreign financial institutions will
benefit from cost savings that includes reduction in cost of doing
business, a shorter learning curve, shorter time to market, access to
new markets, surplus funds and the advantage of having diversified into
a new asset class.
On 27 April 2009, I announced the package for the
financial sector liberalization. The package includes the issuance of
new licenses for seven banks and two takaful players from this year
till 2011. Also included is the flexibility in foreign equity limits
from 49% to 70% to be accorded for investment banks, Islamic banks,
insurance companies and takaful operators. This is part of the overall
objective of leveraging on Malaysia’s edge in Islamic finance. To
complement this package, the legal profession will be liberalized to
allow up to five top international law firms with expertise in
international Islamic finance to practice in Malaysia.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Many other industries are already utilising the ICT
for identifying, establishing and conducting business worldwide.
However, the utilisation of ICT in the Halal industry is still lagging
behind. Halal industry players must leverage and invest in the ICT.
There are many business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer
(B2C) online portals that can be utilised to market Halal products and
services to institutional buyers and consumers worldwide.
I am confident that the two concurrent events
organized here in Kuala Lumpur will provide opportunities to secure
business deals, establish contacts and networking, as well as to share
information on Halal industry. I hope you will have successful business
meetings at MIHAS 2009. To our foreign guests, I wish you also a
pleasant stay in Malaysia.
On that note, and with the recitation of
“Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim”, it is my pleasure to declare open MIHAS
2009 and the World Halal Research Summit 2009.