Philippines: 13 SMEs from Mindanao to join halal showcase in Malaysia

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 6 March) At least 13 small, micro, and medium enterprises in Mindanao will join the three-day 16th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) from April 3 to 6 in Kuala Lumpur, an official from the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said.

Amhed Jeoffrey J. Datukan, development manager officer III at MinDA, said in an interview on Wednesday that they want to promote the growing halal industry players who are also beneficiaries of the Department of Agriculture and Department of Trade and Industry in Mindanao through the annual MIHAS.

There are 17 other SMEs from Luzon and Visayas that will join the expo at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre, he said.

Organized by Ministry of International Trade and Industry and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), the MIHAS is a premier event featuring other countries across the globe.

Last year, MIHAS attracted around 21,000 trade visitors and resulted in total immediate and negotiated trade value worth RM1.52 billion or P19.4 billion.

“Primarily, we want to help our SMEs to tap the export market and present potential investment areas in the Philippines for Malaysian investors,” Datukan said.

Among the 13 SMEs from Mindanao, he added two are tour operators from Davao City in hopes to re-establish AirAsia’s Davao City-Kuala Lumpur direct flights, which stopped December last year or a year after it was launched due to lack of load factor.

Datukan said tourism players are trying to develop the halal industry in Mindanao to entice Malaysians to visit different tourism destinations in the island.

“We are trying to develop halal tourism in Mindanao in partnership with the Department of Tourism to encourage at least establishments to be Muslim-friendly – no pork in kitchen, or identify areas that serve no pork,” he said.

Datukan added they want to position Davao Region as the gateway for halal activities in Mindanao and prepare the local establishments to become Muslim-friendly to entice more Malaysians to visit the city. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)