Najib: Tap into halal market

KUALA LUMPUR: Facial creams, pills for erectile dysfunction, herbal aid to help smokers say no to cigarettes and even beer are among the products on show at the world’s largest halal trade fair being held here.

These products are among hundreds from various parts of the world, including non-Muslim nations. The pill for erectile dysfunction is from South Korea while the halal beer is from Iran and the quit-smoking aid is from India.

The manufacturers are trying to tap into the global halal market which is worth some US$2.1tril (RM7.4tril) per year via the five-day Sixth International Halal Showcase (Mihas).

This year’s Mihas features more than 600 international buyers from 48 countries participating in the business meeting programme.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who launched the trade fair at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre yesterday, said the local private sector, including government-linked companies, should establish linkages with international brands of halal products, either through equity participation or acquisition of renowned labels.

The companies should capitalise on the strong relations that Malaysia had with the members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and countries such as China, he said.

Malaysia, he said, had an advantage because its halal certification and logo were accepted worldwide.

A significant milestone was the adoption of Malaysia’s MS1500:2004 as the international halal standard by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, he added.

“This standard is the only reference on halal under the WTO, which provides guidelines on labelling of halal products. Malaysia is now working towards expanding halal standards to cover pharmaceuticals, logistics and catering services.”

Najib said the country was proud that its Malaysian Halal Standard was being used by world-renowned multinational companies such as Nestle, Colgate Palmolive, Ajinomoto and Unilever.

“Nestle has become the biggest food manufacturer in the halal sector with more than US$3bil (RM10.8bil) in annual sales in Islamic countries,” he added.

Najib said the implementation of the halal industry masterplan in May last year and the creation of the Halal Development Corporation (HDC) was Malaysia’s goal to develop local companies into global players.

The introduction of the World Halal Research Summit by HDC was timely given the importance of research and technology for the further development of the halal industry.

Source : The Star

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