SMIDEC Approved RM15.05 Mln To SMEs In Halal Business As Of March

JOHOR BAHARU, May 14 (Bernama) — The Small and Medium
Industries Development Corporation (SMIDEC) approved RM15.05 million as
of March 31 this year for the development of Small and Medium
Enterprises (SMEs) in the halal industry.

Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Mukhriz
Mahathir said the funds, given through grants for the development and
promotion of halal products, involved 253 applications.

Out of these, 165 were applications from Bumiputera entrepreneurs who received RM10.88 million.

“About 60 percent of the applications were for the promotion of
halal products, 20 percent for the upgrading of premises in compliance
with halal certification and another 20 percent for the development of
halal products,” Mukhriz said when launching a seminar here today for
Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the halal industry.

Mukhriz said the government was very committed to developing the
industry, adding that as of March 31, a total of 418 workers from the
SME sector had gone through various trainings related to halal
business. The programmes were carried out through the Development
Skills Centre involving RM220,000 in expenditure.

He also urged Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the industry to be
directly involved in the industry as the opportunities in the halal
sector went beyond the domestic market.

The annual value of the global halal trade has amounted to RM7.4
trillion while the global Muslim population is 1.6 bilion, he said,
adding that Bumiputera entrepreneurs should take up the challenge to
develop the industry.

Mukhriz said that while his ministry had no fixed target for
increasing the number of Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the halal
industry, it should not be an excuse for them not to succeed in the

“It is sad to see that the main producers of meat are countries
like Brazil, US, Argentina and China, and indeed in South East Asia,
Thailand has already built its name as a producer of halal food
products,” he said.

“In Malaysia, Bumiputera entrepreneurs are still lagging compared
with the non-Bumiputeras…only 423 halal certification applications
were received by the Halal Development Corporation (HDC) as of April 30
from a total applications of 1,686,” he said.