Local SMEs told to increase manufacturing capacity in halal industry


Small and medium-sized manufacturers should strive to develop an extensive manufacturing and production capacity to amplify Malaysia’s halal ecosystem, said Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) CEO Datuk Wan Latiff Wan Musa (picture).

Wan Latiff said Malaysia’s existing certification infrastructure and supply-chain network, which have propelled the country’s leading position in the halal economy, need to be complemented with an ability to manufacture in a massive scale.

“In order to supply to the global market, having the halal certification alone is not enough, they need to be competitive and develop their capacity in manufacturing,” he told reporters
at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur last Friday.

“When we talk about the development in halal industry, there is always room for improvement. Particularly in Malaysia, the industry still needs to raise the level of competitiveness through product quality, production cost, branding and marketing, and supply chain.”

Wan Latiff added that this can be achieved through the adoption of a new technology that includes the fourth industrial revolution (IR 4.0), which has not been explored by halal-based manufacturers.

“The application of IR 4.0 technology is not just for the manufacturing, but the marketing, logistics and the payment transaction, among others.

“Data analytics and blockchain technology should have been applied in the halal industry and that is the way forward,” he explained.

Additionally, Wan Latiff said the annual Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas) this year is expected to generate RM1.54 billion, a marginal increase of 3% from RM1.5 billion total trade value in 2018.

“We take into account the uncertainties in the global economy, such as the trade tension between the US and China as well as Brexit, and recently the India-Pakistan crisis, which are damaging to the trade and investment,” he said.

Mihas 2019, which will be held from April 3-6 at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre, will accommodate 1,000 global and local exhibitors to showcase their products, including food and beverage (F&B), cosmetics and logistics.

Wan Latiff said modest fashion will make its maiden debut in Mihas this year, as a result of the industry’s growing popularity in Malaysia and worldwide.

“In 2017, the global spending for modest fashion was US$270 billion (RM1.1 trillion), and it is a segment in the fashion industry that we cannot ignore.

“The modest fashion, which has not been at the centre of the fashion industry before, is continuously growing and we could provide a platform for it to do that,” he said.

According to Wan Latiff, four new countries — Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan — will participate in the 16th instalment of
the halal exhibition.

“We have a good mix of exhibitors that prioritise the local small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which make up 80% of the exhibitors, while 65% of the total participants are going to showcase F&B products.

“The local and international participants are almost balanced this year, with 64% of them are local companies while the global players are made up of 36% at the moment,” he said.