YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamad
Minister of International Trade and Industry
Official Launch of Malaysia Halal Week 2012
4th April 2012
Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh, Salam Sejahtera Dan Salam 1 Malaysia
Yang Berhormat Dato’ Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir
Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (Trade)
Yang Berhormat Dato’ Jacob Dungau Sagan
Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (Industry)
Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Mah Siew Keong
Chairman of MATRADE
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dr Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim
Chairman of Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC)
Yang Berbahagia Hajah Jumaatun Azmi
Founder / CEO of KasehDia Sdn Bhd
Yang Berbahagia Datuk Aziz Jamaludin Mhd Tahir
Chairman of Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (YADIM)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very warm welcome to Malaysia Halal Week. As in the past, this year’s Malaysia Halal Week consists of three major events taking place at the same time to further a common aim, and that is to promote the concept and practice of halal. I am delighted that so many people from different walks of life and different countries have converged here to take part in these activities. Welcome to Malaysia. Welcome to this celebration of a common belief and practice.
2. As you know, society’s understanding of halal has gone through a transformation. Halal was first recognized as a religious obligation. But its rationale has now extended beyond its ethical foundation and it is now understood in a more holistic way. It is seen not only as the fulfillment of a religious obligation, but also a commitment to the pursuit of a way of life. Halal is a religious choice. It is also a lifestyle choice.
3. This convergence of understanding about what halal means is a welcome development. It means that halal is not perceived as a concept of exclusion, separating Muslims from non-Muslims. It has, in fact, become a concept of inclusion, embracing all those who have chosen to adopt its way of life. So it is from this platform, ladies and gentlemen, that we go forth to promote the agenda of Malaysia Halal Week.
Ladies and gentlemen,
4. As we all know, halal today is also a serious business proposition. It has grown into a trillion dollar industry. Halal food products make up 16% of the global trade in food and is valued at USD661 billion annually. The non-food sector is much bigger, and includes chemicals, healthcare, cosmetics and personal care, pharmaceuticals, food processing and packaging, and banking and finance.
5. This universe of halal products and services is growing at a rapid rate and makes it all the more important, ladies and gentlemen, that we have in place institutions and practices that can properly guide the development and practice of halal. In Malaysia, we have set up a number of organizations to engage in this task. Halal Industry Development Corporation, JAKIM and Standards Malaysia are all working to develop standards and protocols that are business friendly and halal compliant.
6. We have made significant progress in this regard. The Malaysian Halal Standard, for example, is now accepted internationally. Halal certification procedures are now more clearly understood. But a lot more work remains to be done and we will need the cooperation of all parties to make things work.
7. We are fortunate that here in Malaysia, the private sector is supportive of this exercise. A number of multinational companies are also sharing their halal expertise with us to help ensure that vendors and suppliers along the supply chain are halal compliant. Many companies have also adopted the use of the Malaysian Halal Brand to promote the sale of their products.
8. The government has acknowledged that halal is one of the new sources of growth for the country’s economy. I am pleased to note that HDC has started working with PEMANDU in two specific areas:
i) In developing prototypes for halal vaccines, gelatin-free capsule and palm oil based emulsifiers for pharmaceutical products. This is under the Competition, Standards and Liberalisation (CSL) initiative;
ii) Halal is to be included into the Entry Point Project (EPP) for Agriculture, Palm Oil, Tourism, Healthcare and Wholesale and Retail sectors.
I am confident that the above initiatives will provide significant contribution to our Gross National Income (GNI) and skilled employment.
9. In our effort to provide greater awareness on Malaysia’s certification processes, MITI organised a briefing session on Malaysia’s Halal certification System for Foreign Embassies and Trade Representatives in Kuala Lumpur on 21 March 2012, to provide a clearer picture of the Malaysia Halal System in terms of inspection and certification procedures for halal products. It was attended by 81 participants comprising 2 ambassadors, 24 representatives from 13 embassies/high commissions, 55 representatives from the government agencies.
10. It is important to note that in this regard, to date, JAKIM has appointed 57 halal certified agencies from 33 foreign countries such as Australia, the USA, New Zealand and China, to facilitate foreign exporters exporting their halal products to Malaysia.
11. It is perhaps more than a coincidence, that this growing consciousness about things halal is taking place at a time when the Islamic finance and banking industry is also undergoing rapid change and modernisation. Malaysia is a global leader in the development of this sector, and we have developed numerous syariah compliant financial instruments to support the requirements of doing business in the 21st century. I have no doubt, ladies and gentlemen, that the Islamic finance industry is now also fully capable of supporting the funding needs of the halal industry.
Ladies and gentlemen,
12. There are now 4,758 halal-certified companies in the country. Some 700 of these are actively exporting Malaysian-made goods and services. Their export value last year was RM35 billion, a figure that excludes crude palm oil, and represents 5% of our total export volume of RM694 billion. Our main export destinations are China, USA, Singapore, Netherlands and Japan, and our major exports are halal ingredients (RM 12 billion) food and beverage items (RM 12 billion) and palm oil derivatives (RM 7 billion).
Where do we go from here? How do we grow our halal business?
13. The local Halal industry in this respect has achieved a grand measure of integration through shared goals, and in accordance with MIHAS’ well-chosen theme “Empowering the Global Halal Market”, it aims to deliver specific programmes for the Halal community and economic benefits for the country.
14. Several organisations and business associations have worked relentlessly to realise the goals of the local Halal industry, thereby giving the local entrepreneur and businessman the investment confidence necessary to make his business investment a success. Through the empowerment process the environment will be made as conducive and supportive as possible for the industry to grow upstream and downstream activities along the value chain.
15. Today we witness the participation of 382 companies in MIHAS 2012, out of which, 40 per cent are foreign companies. These exhibitors comprise halal consumables, halal non-food product which include pharmaceuticals, healthcare and cosmetics. Besides, we also see increased participation from Islamic Capital Market and Financial Services.
16. In conjunction with MIHAS 2012, MATRADE also organize in-coming buying mission which is pre-arranged business meetings between the Malaysian companies and foreign buyers. This year, over 300 foreign buyers from 52 countries participated in the business meetings. I would like to announce that the business matching sessions yielded a total generated sales of RM340 million (USD110 million).
17. For this year, I am pleased to note that MIHAS is increasingly used as a launching platform for halal non-food products. This includes halal certified fragrances, tableware and paint brush.
Ladies and gentlemen,
18. At this week’s World Halal Research Summit, I note that you will be deliberating on the proposition “Innovation as the catalyst for business transformation”. I certainly cannot think of a more appropriate topic for discussion, because buying decisions are not based just on pricing considerations, but also on product quality, and quality is, to a large extent, a product of creativity and innovation.
19. There is the process of commercialisation that all innovation would have to undergo so as to directly benefit consumers in the Halal market. While there is a need for manufacturers to understand the imperatives of Research and Development and mechanics of business transformation, any innovation will be encouraged and pursued to comply with international quality standards.
20. I welcome this focus on the need to inspire halal innovation and research, particularly on exploring the possibilities of developing new and alternative products for the halal industry. Besides honoring contributions by the prospective recipient of this year’s Halal Science Award, participants for the Poster Presentation in Halal Science and Innovation Excellence 2012 will display innovative ideas creatively in a graphic and pictorial form.
21. More than 30 innovative halal prototypes ready to be commercialized will be showcased by Universities, Research Institutes and spin-off companies for manufacturers and service providers. Business matching and product pitching sessions for potential buyers will be conducted under the guidance of Malaysia Innovation Agency and HDC.
22. Prototypes ready for commercialization will be consolidated and retained in an “Intellectual Property Bank” at HDC for viewing by any interested parties. This structured approach will ensure innovative ideas and findings are taken through from Creation to Commercialization within the Halal Eco-system. This is certainly in line with the Government’s policy in promoting R&D and innovation, towards achieving a high-income nation status by the year 2020.
Ladies and gentlemen,
23. The World Halal Forum, hosted and organised by International Halal Integrity Alliance with the theme “Inspire.Innovate.Invest” is another highlight of the Malaysia Halal Week. The forum provides the right environment for an interactive session whereby participants can discuss, exchange views and share experiences on the latest development, trends and direction of the global Halal industry. It is a private initiative by the stakeholders for the stakeholders.
24. I am proud to see that a Malaysian private initiative such as World Halal Forum (WHF) has successfully garnered international respect and stature. WHF’s approach of introducing Halal as not merely a religious requirement but a huge untapped business opportunity has spread and cultivated a universal message through inclusivity and Halal lifestyle, representing values for both Muslim and non-Muslim.
25. More than 900 delegates from 50 countries attend the WHF main event yearly. International media such as Forbes, Time Magazine and the Economist have all featured WHF extensively, citing it as a credible source of reference. WHF has played an integral part in strategically positioning Malaysia at the focal point of the Halal industry through thought leadership and successfully achieved comprehensive global reach.
26. MIHAS, WHRS and WHF are initiatives very much aligned to the Government’s policy to promote innovation and transform the economic landscape. The call for innovation is made particularly in the manufacturing industry towards the building of a stronger trading and economic base. Under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) most traditional sectors will be transformed by 2020. Without this valuable step Malaysia will be less able to focus on large global markets with high growth potential.
Ladies and gentlemen,
27. I would like to reiterate the Government’s support for the development of the halal industry. Over the years we have achieved many successes in the areas of halal standard certification, production, islamic finance and banking, R&D, among others in our effort to develop a halal eco-system, to make ourselves a global halal hub. Malaysia is the only country that is developing this eco-system that makes us the leader in halal industry.
28. On this note, I like to wish you every success in your deliberations here. I also like to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to grow the halal industry and to support events like Malaysia Halal Week. We also appreciate the presence of so many friends and colleagues from abroad. Your participation adds depth and perspective to our deliberations and we hope you have a pleasant stay here.
29. It is with humility and the recital of Bismillah Hirrahman Nirrahim that I now declare open Malaysia Halal Week 2012.