Public-private collaborations to boost halal pharmaceuticals

By HARIZAH KAMEL / Pic BERNAMA

THE halal pharmaceuticals sector is expected to surge in the years to come following more collaborations to launch new products, Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said. 

“With Covid-19 generating a renewed focus on improving health and immunity, we could expect a further surge in this sector as we witness a hive of public-private collaboration in launching new halal-certified drugs and medical devices,” he said in his keynote address at the 17th edition of the Malaysia International Halal Exhibition (Mihas) 2021 opening ceremony yesterday. 

“Through great efforts in research and development in halal medicine and pharmaceuticals, particularly in the field of vaccines, we should see an exponential growth in this sector that would advance not only in Muslim countries but the rest of the world,” he said. 

The halal pharmaceuticals market alone is poised for growth from US$94 billion (RM389.9 billion) in 2019 to US$105 billion by 2024 especially in the preventive care segment. 

On another note, the International Sourcing Programme (INSP), one of the flagship components of Mihas, generated deals worth RM694 million for Malaysian exporters so far, representing an increase of 12.96% compared to sales recorded during the INSP Mihas 2019. 

The INSP was organised over a five-month period, as a run-up to Mihas 2021. Sales generated from INSP Mihas 2021 are distinct from sales expected to be generated from the 549 exhibitors participating in Mihas 2021, which ends on Dec 31, 2021. 

Azmin noted that such positive results clearly indicate that despite lockdowns and restricted movements, ample opportunities can be provided for halal industry players from all over the world to connect. 

“Malaysia is committed to advancing the halal industry’s strong and comprehensive ecosystem, which enables halal brands to flourish regionally and globally. 

“MITI has spearheaded the Halal Industry Master Plan 2030 to catalyse the country’s halal industry in a holistic manner, by strengthening and globalising its halal ecosystem,” he said. 

INSP Mihas 2021 has connected 333 foreign buyers from 61 countries with 385 Malaysian sellers through 610 pre-arranged one-to-one business meetings. 

The largest contribution in terms of exports came from Asean and Oceania region (RM237.7 million), Europe and Americas region (RM142.6 million), Central, West, South Asia and Africa region (RM34.3 million), and China and Northeast Asia region (RM278.9 million). 

Azmin also highlighted the urgent need for standardisation of the halal certification requirements to obtained homogeneous global market access. 

Many micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are not fully integrated into the global halal supply chain as many do not have the halal certification due to their inadequate capacity to obtain certification, expertise, network and funding. 

As for certification, to date, over 8,000 companies in Malaysia have been given the Malaysian halal certification of which 20% are exporters contributing a total of US$10.4 billion worth of exports in 2020. 

In addition, the first day of Mihas 2021 also witnessed the Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) inking a tripartite memorandum of cooperation (MoC) with CIMB Islamic Banking Bhd and Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre. 

The MoC aims to drive SMEs’ sustainability agenda by nurturing and growing Malaysian green exporters, reflecting Malaysia’s continuous commitment in streamlining with global trends that demand for more sustainable products and services.