The increase in demand for hygienic processed food, as well as halal and Shariah compliant services is mostly from 1.8b Muslim consumers
By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By TMR File
The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) foresees a 10% increase in exports of halal products this year from the RM45 billion worth of exports recorded in 2017, driven primarily by worldwide demand for halal-certified products.
Jakim halal hub division director Datuk Dr Sirajuddin Suhaimee said the increase in demand for hygienic processed food, as well as halal and Shariah-compliant services is mostly from 1.8 billion Muslim consumers as well as non-Muslim countries such as China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
“I have been told by the Chinese counterparts that they have gained trust on Malaysia’s halal certification,” he said after a collaboration signing agreement between Taiwan Halal Integrity Development Association (THIDA) and Serunai Commerce Sdn Bhd.
In 2015, the country’s halal industry’s export stood at RM39.4 billion, which rose to RM42 billion in 2016. In 2017, it rose to RM45 billion, mainly contributed by the food and beverages segment with RM19.5 billion revenue, halal ingredient at RM11 billion, followed by oil palm derivatives at RM5 billion. The government aims to increase the value to RM50 billion by 2020.
Jakim started working to expedite the halal certification approval process for both local and foreign companies two years ago, in tandem with the government’s aim to support the industry’s growth.
“Previously, the approval can take up between three and six months. Now, we have a number of initiatives to improve our operating procedure, such as conducting “audit combo” — combined process of desk and site audit — so the mechanism can be simplified and approved within a month,” he said.
According to Sirajuddin, the approval for foreign companies to be halal certified will now take about three months.
At present, the halal certification is recognised in about 42 countries, including Lithuania and Kazakhstan.
“There is also ongoing demand for our halal certification from North European countries,” Sirajuddin added.
Meanwhile, the agreement between THIDA and Serunai Commerce aims to provide halal systems training, development, certification and trading to help propel demand and development in Taiwan.
Currently, there are about 700 businesses in Taiwan that have thus far obtained the halal certification by THIDA.
Serunai Commerce also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Northport (M) Bhd to create a seamless and integrated logistics system and global hub for halal trade.
Supported by Jakim, Serunai Commerce is the world’s first global halal data pool developer, which helps small and medium enterprises trade their products with companies outside Malaysia.
It also helps consumers check a product’s halal status through the Verify Halal app.