Sarawak firms urged to tap into global halal market

Khairul (front row, sixth from left) poses with the seminar participants.

By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, Feb 14: Sarawak companies should venture into the global halal market, which was worth US$4.3 trillion in 2017 and is expected to balloon to US$6.9 trillion by 2023.

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) deputy director (Halal, F&B and Agro-based) Khairul Nizam Moonier said the state had many products that were unique and had great potential in the global halal market, which is supported by the increasing Muslim population.

The Muslim population, which stood at 1.8 billion last year, is expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2050.

In addition, there is also an increasing demand for halal food products by non-Muslims.

The strict regulations and guidelines in the preparation of halal food products ensure quality and cleanliness, which raised the confidence of consumers, said Khairul.

“With less than 500 Sarawak companies currently active in the halal industry, we need to create more awareness to attract participation.

“This (industry’s growth factor) is something we shouldn’t ignore. In fact, non-Muslim countries are already actively pursuing the halal industry,” he told reporters at the Matrade seminar on Export Opportunity in Halal Industry here today.

Khairul pointed out that the major export market for Malaysia are non-Muslim countries, with China being the top importer of halal goods.

Khairul Nizam Moonier

On another plus point, neighbouring Indonesia is ranked the top five export market worldwide for halal products.

From handicrafts to food products such as Sarawak laksa paste, supported by the state government’s digital transformation agenda, he believed local entrepreneurs would not face many problems in exporting their products.

“Matrade is looking to create more engagement with Sarawak companies, raising awareness on the halal market. We are here to assist you. We provide grants as well as market intelligence and advisory.

“Malaysia is regarded as a leading nation by Muslim countries in the halal industry. We would like to spearhead this to another level, be it products or services provided by Malaysian companies,” he said.

Meanwhile, the seminar was also held to inform and coordinate Sarawak entrepreneurs and companies to participate in the 16th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre from April 3-6.

MIHAS 2019 trade exhibition will also feature the International Sourcing Programme on April 2, promoting business-matching initiative between international companies and Malaysian businesses.

“About 200 companies (buyers) worldwide will be invited to the country during the expo, where local businesses will get a chance to promote their products directly.

“Please take this opportunity. Instead of spending money on overseas trips, we are bringing potential buyers to our doorstep to create business opportunities and network,” Khairul said. — DayakDaily