Halal Malaysia Industrial Parks attracts more than RM16b investment

Out of the amount, some 59% or RM9.5 billion is FDI


THE Halal Malaysia Industrial Parks has attracted more than RM16 billion of investment with RM9.5 billion or 59% of it being foreign direct investment (FDI), Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (picture) said.

“The Halal Malaysia Industrial Parks, an initiative between the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) and Halal Development Corp (HDC), is meant to facilitate the growth of the Malaysian halal industry.

“Covering an area of 80,937.13ha in 14 strategic halal parks, it is the world’s largest halal hub,” he said during the opening ceremony of Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas) 2022.

The PM added that currently, there are 295 companies operating in 22 halal parks nationwide, including 42 multinational companies.

Ismail Sabri then stressed on the importance of addressing any halal assurance related issue as failure to do so will damage the halal image that has been worked on over the years.

“The halal guarantee I meant refers to consumer confidence, standardisation, certification and accreditation. Now, more than 8,000 companies in Malaysia are recognised as halal certified with more than 20% of them being exporting companies.

“The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia also cooperates with halal certification bodies from various countries for uniformity of standards in compliance with shariah law,” he added.

On the organisation of Mihas, he believes the exhibition is a testimony of the people’s faith in the effectiveness of the government’s strategy in driving the development and innovation of the halal industry in Malaysia, further strengthening the Malaysian halal brand at the international level.

“The increase in sales from international trade fairs such as Mihas from year to year will have a spillover effect on the halal-related sector, and indirectly contribute to the success of Malaysian companies, especially the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“In fact, the increase in sales of the halal sector will ultimately boost the GDP growth, in addition to opening up more space and opportunities for the Malaysian community to bring the halal industry to the international level,” he further added.

Meanwhile, MITI Deputy Minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong said since Mihas was first organised in 2004, it has led Malaysia’s halal agenda, and has benefitted more than 12,000 Malaysian companies and international buyers — cumulatively, contributing around RM20 billion to the country’s total exports.

“Malaysia is one of the main producers of halal goods, where in 2021, the export of halal goods increased by 19% to RM36.3 billion compared to the RM30.5 billion recorded in 2020.

“The industry is expected to continue to grow in the Asia-Pacific region following Malaysia’s ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which came into force on March 18, 2022. RCEP is the world’s largest free trade agreement (FTA) which includes 15 countries with a total population exceeding 2.3 billion or about one third of the world’s population.

“The condition of having a Certificate of Origin to enjoy RCEP privileges further attracts not only trade, but also investment in member countries. The membership of large countries and developed countries in RCEP namely China, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand, in addition to Asean, provides a golden opportunity in diversifying the potential of halal,” he said during the opening ceremony.

On a separate note, commenting further on PM’s suggestion for local companies to explore new markets and promotion on halal market, Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) CEO Datuk Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz said the focus is always on the traditional market (China, Singapore, US, Japan and Indonesia), and are also looking at emerging market from participation of 32 countries.

“Looking at the participation from the 32 countries in terms of participation in the exhibition, there is a lot of interest for emerging markets particularly Central Asia, Middle East and South Asia,” he added.

Mohd Mustafa mentioned that Matrade has already embarked on the digitalisation agenda, whereby the Matrade Digital Learning, launched by the PM today during his visit to the Pahang Pavilion, is meant to facilitate all MSMEs to learn how to become exporters. 

“So, while Matrade are looking at a new market, we must also prepare our place to bench into this market and identify. For that, Matrade has planned all this programme and activity to ensure the market is growing and bringing results, and it has to be effective,” he said to the media during the press conference.

Additionally, Lim added that both MITI and Matrade are targeting countries that are RCEP and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) signatories.

“For RCEP, it entered force for Malaysia on March 18 and for CPTPP, we are on the way to rectify the FTA, so the signatories ‘countries’ markets are also the potential market that we consider as a new emerging market,” he added.

With the theme “Diversifying Halal Potential”, the exhibition this year highlights three main components — an exhibition of halal products and services, an international sourcing programme (INSP), as well as a knowledge hub.

MIHAS 2022 exhibits 13 halal clusters encompassing food and beverage, food technology, e-commerce, cosmetics and personal care, pharmaceuticals, modest fashion, education, Islamic finance, franchise, services and enablers, Muslim-friendly travel, media and recreation, as well as the newly added Islamic art and craft cluster.

The hybrid exhibition at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre takes place from Sept 7 to 10, 2022, while the INSP will be continued online until Nov 15, 2022.