THURSDAY, 13 APRIL 2017, KUALA LUMPUR: The 14th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS 2017), organised by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), concluded on 8 April 2017. The iconic Halal event is driving not only Malaysia's, but the world's Halal industry to greater heights. The event, which was launched by Deputy Prime Minister YAB Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on 5 April 2017, showcased a wide range of Halal products and services from Malaysia and other countries.
This year, MIHAS has attracted more participations from the foreign trade delegations, introduced the Europe Pavilion for the first time to interest more non-Muslim majority countries, strategically segmentised the event into four main clusters (Food, Non-food, Services and eCommerce) , promoted the integration of high technology in Halal industry and showcased diversification through a parallel event called Malaysia Islamic Lifestyle Exhibition (MILE), which featured Islamic lifestyle products.
"MIHAS 2017 is not just a trade fair. It is an engine of growth that moves the local Halal industry and also an impetus to the development of local companies, especially Small and Medium Enterprises, which make up 97 per cent of Malaysia's business establishments. For the past one decade, MIHAS has become a marketplace for local and foreign businesses to thrive in the Halal trade and to contribute significantly to the global Halal economy," said Ir. Dr. Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros, Chief Executive Officer of MATRADE.
"Apart from showcasing traditional sectors such as food and beverages (F&B), MIHAS 2017 also saw a number of exhibitors showcasing technology-driven products and services particularly from the European countries. This indicates the growing niche of Halal in global business and how it can fit into the ever-expanding Halal global supply chain," he added.
The exhibition component of the event has attracted over 576 exhibitors from 33 countries, and witnessed first-time participation from Finland and Austria. Throughout the 4-day exhibition, MIHAS 2017 received a total of 22,744 visitors comprising local and international companies, associations, foreign delegation and others.
MIHAS 2017 also received eight foreign trade delegations among who included the Federation of Halal Entrepreneurs of Five Southern Border Provinces (Thailand), Bio & Pharmaceuticals Industries Promotion Office, Ministry of Economic Affairs (Taiwan) and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Cote D'ivoire (Cote D'ivoire). The objectives of the delegations' visit are to network and forge business relationships with the Halal industry players as well as to learn and explore the Halal segments in Malaysia.
In addition, the event, which took place at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, recorded a total sales of RM1.01 billion, compared to RM1.14 billion registered last year. The sales was from the event's two main components - exhibition and business matching initiative called International Sourcing Programme (INSP). Sales from the exhibition component recorded an increase of 6.8 per cent to RM709 million compared to RM664 million in 2016. While the INSP recorded generated sales of RM300 million compared to RM479 million in 2016.
The INSP, held on 4 April 2017, attracted more than 165 prospective foreign buyers from 44 countries. During the event, more than 2,000 pre-arranged business meetings were arranged between the international companies and 418 Malaysian companies. Among the top countries with the highest export sales for Malaysian companies at the INSP were China (RM70.3 million or 23.5% share), Sri Lanka (RM58.5 million or 19.6% share), Thailand (RM28 million or 9.4% share), Taiwan (RM32.6 million or 7.83% share) and the United Arab Emirates (RM4.43 million or 6.88% share).
Apart from the F&B, the top performing sectors at MIHAS 2017 exhibition were agricultural produces, business services, footwear and household products.
"With the current economic challenges, the Government has to be more prudent and efficient in its spending. With just one-third of budget spent this year as compared to last year's, the Return on Investment (ROI) for the sales generated however have doubled. Furthermore, the quality of foreign participants that resulted in 96 per cent attending the INSP was due to the diligent pre-selection process by MATRADE, " said Dr. Mohd Shahreen.
In addition, MIHAS was awarded by the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) as the largest Halal trade fair in the country. The award was presented by Mr. Mohamad Alex Edward, the Deputy General Manager of MBR to MATRADE, represented by Dr. Mohd Shahreen. "The recognition by MBR is to appreciate MIHAS as an event that brings the world to Malaysia and for its contribution in transforming Malaysia's Halal industry from a traditional cottage industry into a vibrant and lucrative industry," said Mr Mohamad Alex.
MIHAS began in 2004 and continues to grow as the world's largest halal trade event. Held under the patronage of Ministry of International Trade and Industry in association with Halal Development Corporation (HDC) and Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), the 15th edition of MIHAS will return next year from 4 to 7 April 2018 at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
"We hope to see a stronger participation among the local and foreign companies in MIHAS next year as the event will be bigger and better," Dr. Mohd Shahreen said. For more details on MIHAS, visit www.mihas.com.my.