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Date [ 2015-04-20, 04:33 ]

Malaysia hosts the summit on a global scale.

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) Ramani Rathir = The inaugural World Halal Summit (WHS) was held in Kuala Lumpur from March 30th to April 4th, 2015. It was a reflection of the Malaysian Government’s determination to acquire the status of a Global Halal Hub.

Malaysia has already made considerable strides in this direction and is working towards unlocking the full potential of an estimated 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide. The long term plan is to cater for the forthcoming world Muslim population of 27 per cent in 2030. One important element is that equal attention will also be given to non-Muslims.

Thus WHS will act as a platform for those involved in the halal industry to form networks, meet, collaborate, discuss and provide innovative and viable ideas and contribute overall to the expansion of this industry.

With this in mind, WHS has made a multiple dimensional approach. It is an eclectic mix of fairs, expositions, forums and conferences.  The Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) is the summit’s premier trade fair and was held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The big names behind MIHAS were the Ministry of International Trade & Industry, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, Halal Industry Development Corporation , ,and the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (JAKIM). Having garnered 170,000 visitors from 70 nations, 4,000 companies from 48 countries and aflush with USD3 billion over the past 11 years, the 12th, MIHAS entered 2015 with supreme confidence.

The summit also entailed six conferences and forums. Two of the outstanding ones were the 8th World Halal Conference and the 6th Jakim International Certification Bodies Conventions... Forums too were aplenty, namely the Certifiers Forum, Scholars Forum, Academics Forum and Business Forum. This last drew a lot of interest for many were there to improve their business outlook. By having the trade fair and conferences together it was more or less a meeting of muscles and brains. For good business cannot go forward without good planning.

The summit had as its main role a bringing together of new ideas and concepts running above a bed of economic dynamics. The bottom line will be acquiring profits but in a just, and honourable way, under halal perceptions.

The bottom line is staying true to the tenets of Islam within the halal framework .Thus revenue earned, employment offered and networks established may not stray from this path. Therefore while non-Muslims may participate in MIHAS, any goods, products or services that they are exhibiting will have to carry the halal certificate.  

Currently there seems to be a lack of accreditation and for which a body will certainly be needed. The Second Unified Session had Nabil Molla from the Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC) Standardisation Organisation along with some others explored  some of the schemes that are being put in place in the GCC region and Turkey to bring uniformity and clarity to the verification process..

Some companies in Malaysia are already into standardization.  At HDC’s Appreciation Dinner, the Halal Excellence Award was presented to the Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad (CCM).  It that had made significant contribution towards the development of the Malaysia Halal Pharmaceutical Standard MS 24242012. This standard is the world’s first Halal pharmaceutical guideline which was based on CCM’s Halal best practices. The award was presented by Dato’ Seri Mustapa Mohamed, the Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry.

The halal market is huge and growing. ASEAN countries aware of the large business potential available made up the highest participating exhibitors.

The total was made up of close to 300 companies from Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.

While the market expansion is projected to continue, halal companies are expected to face many challenges in the coming years. One problem Islamic countries will encounter is the create\ion of a sustainable global food chain to overcome food shortages. Another is to step up the convergence between Islamic finance and the halal industry... Even though both industries came on the scene 40 years ago, till today there is very little Islamic funding of halal projects. Then waiting to be tapped is the ASEAN population, half of which is Muslims.

HDC’s CEO/Director, Y Bhg Dato Seri Jamil bin Bidin, remarked,”We shall look into trade and invest opportunities in the ASEAN region, as well as new ventures and opportunities, The halal industries will be moving into the non-food sectors such as halal vaccines and nutraceuticals  and introduce the halal e-learning  module for halal training.

After being in the background for so long, the Halal Industry is set to stride forward, with bigger steps on the global trade platform.


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