Small’s beautiful in Brunei’s bid for halal park, brand leadership
small size and population could be an advantage for the country in
pushing the national halal programme forward, especially in the
establishment of halal industrial parks, said a halal business
There have been several attempts to develop halal
industrial parks in the Southeast Asian region, but none of them are
“really off the drawing board yet”, at least “not in any kind of
realistic way”, said Abdalhamid David Evans, a halal marketing
consultant whose expertise has been enlisted by the Ministry of
Industry and Primary Resources over the past several years to organise
the annual International Halal Market Conference (IHMC).
got all the different states in Malaysia that want to be the one that
has the halal park so they all end up competing with each other. So far
none of them are getting developed, at least at not a good enough
speed,” he said.
The other players in the region Thailand,
Indonesia and the Philippines have all seen talks surface over the past
few years but have yet to see implementation.
“You can imagine
in Indonesia that it is so big, there’s so going to be many competing
agendas competing for money, political will, political support that the
national halal agenda is likely to get delayed,” said Abdalhamid, who
has extensively travelled around the region and the world to keep track
of the development of the global halal sector.
Brunei has the advantages because it will not be competing domestically
and it does not consist of different states with different projects
that will be competing against each other,” Abdalhamid explained.
“There’s the Brunei halal brand, there’s the Brunei halal standard, the
agro-technology park, and then there’s the joint-venture company that
is going to be pushing all of this, so setting a unified plan should
technically be easier than doing it in some other countries.”
the national halal programme would need to move at a more efficient
speed if Brunei were to make full use of the advantages it has over
other Southeast Asian countries and put forward a unified plan to
establish a strong foothold in the international market.
Sultanate is well on its way to make public its very first guideline
for halal standards in food and pharmaceutical manufacturing in the
upcoming IHMC next month, during which a joint-venture vehicle that
will take the Brunei Halal Brand to the international market will be
A blueprint for the planned Agro-Technology Park
will also be unveiled during the two-day conference beginning Aug 1 at
the International Convention Centre in Berakas.
significant initiatives already set for unveiling two years after the
Brunei government first embarked on a mission to launch its own Premium
halal brand, the key for the country now is to step up the pace, said
“It’s taken several years to get here, and you don’t
really want to take several more years to get to step two. Speed and
efficiency are going to be the key to establishing a strong position in
the market,” said Abdalhamid.
The Sultanate is capable of being
a role model on how to develop a halal industry in a country, he said,
because for the country it is considered fardhu kifayah, it is a way of
diversifying the economy, as well as building the SME sector.
No other country has really been quite as specific about why they’re doing halal, he said.