M’sia forms global halal certification board
Ahmad Zahid at the world Halal week 2018 conference in Kuala Lumpur

The IHAB aims to streamline the certification issuance process among global halal authorities and bodies

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Malaysia has set up a coalition to establish and oversee the process of halal certification across the globe.

The International Halal Authority Board (IHAB), which was launched in Putrajaya on Tuesday, aims to stream-line the certification issuance process among global halal authorities and bodies.

The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) will be the chair of the newly established committee, whose membership comprises 69 halal authorities from 42 countries recognised under Jakim.

Its halal hub division director Datuk Dr Sirajuddin Suhaimee said the board will work towards a com- mon understanding and mutual recognition of the halal certification process to remove trade barriers and propel the industry further.

“The proposal for IHAB was agreed between all members yesterday. It was accepted without objection and all have agreed for Jakim to be the chairman and for the secretariat to be based in Malaysia,” he told reporters at the World Halal Week 2018 conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Apart from working towards harmonisation in the certification process, Sirajuddin said the board would also provide training for certification bodies and help boost their market access.

He said although it was unviable for the board to create a single global halal certificate at the moment, the idea has not been dismissed and will be considered and developed over time.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had earlier in his opening speech said Malaysia, as the leader in the global halal industry, is committed towards enhancing the ease of doing business by gaining international acceptance as a prominent reference centre, while fostering strategic partnerships and alliance internationally.

Apart from IHAB, he said the country is also in the process of establishing the first regional halal international research academy.

“If I may say so, we are obliged to succeed. Never has there been a greater need to raise the level of that ambition to the global stage,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid also said the local halal industry contributed approximately 7.5% to the national gross domestic product (GDP) last year.

The industry reported an annual export value of halal products worth RM43.4 billion in 2017 and had attracted RM13.3 billion worth of investments for the Halal Malaysia Halal Parks.

“Malaysia once again leads the Global Islamic Economy Indicator for the fifth year in a row. This impressive lead reflects a robust Islamic economy eco system, with Malaysia enjoying a substantial lead in Islamic finance and halal food,” he said.

A report released by Thomson Reuters on the State of the Global Islamic Economy 2017-2018 projects the Islamic economy to contribute US$3 trillion (RM11.6 trillion) by 2021.

The survey defined the Islamic economy as consisting of halal food, Islamic finance, halal travel, modest fashion, halal media and recreation as well as halal pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan expects halal product exports to grow by 5% to RM45 billion this year.

“This shows there are bigger opportunities to tap into. The global Muslim market alone is expected to reach US$7.7 trillion in 2030,” he said.