ASEAN has potential to become Halal hub: Malaysian PM

April 2, 2015

By Mohani Niza

ASEAN possesses the potential to become a Halal trading hub with the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by December 31, 2015, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak said yesterday.

Halal is Arabic for what is permissible under Syariah (Islamic) law.

Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib was speaking at the opening of the World Halal Summit 2015 in Kuala Lumpur.

He also said that Malaysia was now entering the final phase of implementation of the Halal Industry Master Plan (2008 – 2020) and that the plan was a huge achievement,

“As an example, Malaysia’s Halal Certification and logo are now universally recognised and accepted,” he said, adding that the country has successfully developed 13 Malaysian Standards that meet international benchmarks for the Halal industry.

Also speaking at the summit was Minister of International Trade and Industry Malaysia Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed.

“The world’s Muslim population is expected to rise from an estimated 1.8 billion in 2014 to 2.2 billion by 2030, a growth of 26.4 %,” he said.

“This fast growing population presents the core market for Halal food and other significant Islamic economic sectors,” he added.

Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed also said that ASEAN has the advantage of possessing a strong production when it comes to food, livestock, palm oil, rice and other produce.

Malaysia alone exports 37 billion worth of Halal products. According to The Global State of Islamic Economic Report, the global expenditure of Muslim consumers on food and relevant Hal sectors grew 9.5 % to US$ 2 trillion in 2013, and is expected to reach US$ 3.7 trillion by 2019.

More than half of the global Muslim population lives in the South Asia and Asia Pacific and the number of Muslims from these regions is expected to reach 1.3 billion by 2030. Four of the ten countries in the world boast the largest Muslim population, and they are: Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. However, when it comes to emerging markets, the United States and Europe come up tops, with populations of 8 million Muslims and 40 million Muslims respectively.

Food is not the only viable Halal sector. Malaysia also invests in Halal pharmaceutical and cosmetics, and the country is active in Islamic finance. This includes corporate financial solutions in the form of trade financing; risk management; hedging products; liquidity management and working capital.

“The sukuk [Islamic bonds] market, in which Malaysia is a leader, offers a credible, convenient and Syariah-compliant alternative to conventional financing needs,” Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib said.

The five-day World Halal Summit (WHS) 2015 is designed as a platform to provide opportunities for the Halal-industry stakeholders to collaborate, network, discuss and present ideas. It integrates the premier Halal trade fair, MIHAS (Malaysia International Halal Showcase) ad six conferences and forums, including a Certifiers Forum and Business Forum.

The theme for the summit is “Energising the Halal Ecosystem”. It is a joint effort by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia, International Islamic University of Malaysia and MARA University of Technology.


Category: Community, Features

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