Bandar Seri Begawan – Becoming standards-compliant within the halal
industry for a small and medium enterprise (SME) will open up new
avenues for them to market their goods or services, said a senior
analyst from the coordinating company for the International Halal
Market Conference (IHMC).
“Being standards-compliant is a challenge for them (SMEs), but if
they make that jump and become compliant with international standards,
(then) the market opens up for them in a much greater way,” said
Abdalhamid David Evans of lmarat Consultants.
He noted that a majority of SMEs involved in the halal industry were
relatively small, particularly those in the Muslim world. However, if
they can become compliant, they can increase their businesses quite
dramatically, he said.
Abdalhamid also spoke of how demand for halal products and services
were way in excess of global supply. He said that there is a “huge gap”
between supply and demand in this industry, the effects of which was
not made as apparent in Muslim countries.
He explained that in nations with a Muslim majority, it is
relatively easy to find halal food and products, whereas in countries
with mixed cultures or where Muslims are a minority, these products are
not as accessible. Therefore, the demand in these countries for
certified halal products is significantly high, he explained.
“In that sense, we see a long period of growth for the halal industry,” he said.
with the development of the halal food industry bolstered by this
demand, other related sectors will also find that there is a demand for
them and thus, these sectors will develop as well.
“As the food sector develops (and) starts to make its own demand,
all these other elements are going to come in behind it,” he added.
Abdalhamid stressed that this was where the SME’s should look into
capitalising upon and not only the halal food sector. Event management
companies, software development, logistics, shipping and transportation
were some of the areas highlighted.
He mentioned that the current economic crisis in the West has also prompted companies to venture into the halal market.
“In the West, companies facing food difficulties in current crisis
are turning to halal because they can still sell the same product to
the general public but it also opens new export markets for them as
well,” he said.
“Food producers who are in trouble economically in the Western world
are looking at halal as a potential way to save their business,” he
added, noting that this was an indication of the strength of the halal
He said that this was important to note since Western trends usually
has heavy influence on the pattern! of the rest of the world.
As a country that is taking the initiative to develop itself in this
industry, Brunei is putting itself in a goo’ position as an export
market Abdalhamid said that the challenge then would be to coordinate
effort! at developing this industry to attract the interest of foreign
“The puzzle for any country is tc look at what components we are
going to develop in our own country it order to give ourselves a unique
proposition for our country:
— Courtesy of Brunei Times