US recession poses no threat to halal trade

A recession in the United States will have a minimal impact on the
international halal trade as the need to consume halal products is an
Islamic tenet, said Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation
(Matrade) chief executive officer Datuk Noharuddin Nordin.

at a press briefing yesterday on the upcoming 5th Malaysia
International Halal Showcase (Mihas 2008), he said: “A large portion of
the trade is in consumer goods; when it comes to consuming something
that is halal, it is an Islamic tenet. You can’t compromise on
religious tenet.”

irrespective of whether the economy is going up or down, if you are
consuming something and the halal alternative is available, you should
not be consuming something that is not halal,” he added.

also said a recession would not affect the number of participants at
Mihas 2008. “The beauty of the current situation is that fortunately
for us, many of the Muslim countries are oil exporting countries.

the moment they are enjoying the best moment of their lives as the
revenue from oil is allowing them to invest and undertake development
projects,” he said.

2008, to be held from May 7 to May 11, 2008 at the Matrade Exhibition
and Convention Centre, will have 600 booths for a targeted 500
participating companies comprising 350 local and 150 international
firms. Confirmed participants include companies from US, Turkey, Iran
and Australia.

exhibition is estimated to welcome 40,000 visitors, 3,208 more than
last year, and showcase five key sectors; food and beverage,
pharmaceuticals and herbal products, cosmetics and healthcare, banking
and finance, and food processing and packaging machinery.

sales for Mihas 2007 was logged at RM683.2 million, of which RM209.7
million came from immediate sales while the remainder was “sales under
negotiation”. Higher sales were expected this year due to the larger
number of participants this year, Noharuddin said.

participants this year include India, while China and Pakistan resume
participation after a two-year hiatus. “China is coming in a big way.
They have confirmed to take 16 booths,” said Mihas 2008 chief executive
officer Mohd Shukri Abdullah.

added that Mihas 2008 would remain the biggest halal showcase
internationally compared to 11 others. India had also recently jumped
on the bandwagon, announcing that it would do two halal shows per year.

estimates the global market value for halal consumable and
non-consumable products at RM2.1 trillion annually while halal food
products are worth RM150 billion yearly. Islamic financing, takaful and
other services are pegged at US$1 trillion (RM3.3 trillion).