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World Halal Week Opens in Malaysia

The World Halal Week (WHW) 2016, the largest gathering of halal industry heads and stakeholders from around the world, officially opened at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) on March 30.

The week-long event, hosted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia (MITI), features the world-renowned halal trade fair, the 13th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE); the 9th World Halal Conference (WHC) by the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) and the 7th Halal Certification Bodies Convention by the Department of Islamic Development of Malaysia (JAKIM).

Themed ‘Beyond the Economy’, WHW 2016 is set to provide an innovative perspective of halal beyond its economic contributions to include this traditional Islamic practice as a modern lifestyle choice for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

There has been a growing acceptance of Halal brands and practices across the world and Malaysia is playing key role in creating a better understanding of this emerging new economic force, said Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry at the opening ceremony of the WHW 2016.

The consumer market for halal products and services has grown by leaps and bounds in recent times, and businesses around the world cannot afford to overlook the growth opportunities of this industry, the Minister added.

MIHAS 2016, one of the main components of WHW 2016, is showcasing 543 companies including 316 Malaysian companies and 227 international exhibitors. The world’s largest Halal trade fair themed ‘Experience Halal’ is expected to draw over 25,000 visitors from 67 countries. In 2015, MIHAS generated a total sale of RM1.1 billon (over US$280 million).

MIHAS embraces the concept of the Halal in all of its dimensions and informs consumers on the latest innovations in the Halal sector via a myriad of Halal products and services such as pharmaceuticals and herbal products, cosmetics and health care to Islamic investment, banking, Takaful as well as Islamic travel and tourism.

MATRADE has been working closely with foreign embassies and various Chambers of Commerce as well as trade agencies to forge closer ties between the nations participating in the event, said MATRADE’s Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Dzulkifli Mahmud, noting that the international interest surrounding MIHAS is a true embodiment of the global community’s view of Malaysia as a pioneer in the global halal industry.

There are huge potentials for Vietnamese enterprises to seek trade partners and expand business links in halal markets, said Nguyen Trong Hieu, Sales Excutive of Vinh Hoan Copration, a collagen and gelatin manufacturer from Vietnam.

MIHAS is a very interesting platform, an excellent place for us to introduce Vietnamese products not only to Malaysian people but also to other enterprises from around the world, Hieu added.

In conjunction with MIHAS 2016, MATRADE also organised a business programme called the International Sourcing Programme (INSP) on March 29. The event gathered 391 high quality foreign buyers and 581 foreign buyers from around the world to participate in one-on-one business meetings arranged by 619 Malaysian exporters. The INSP had successfully generated an estimated US$113.47 million in negotiated sales, a year-on-year increase of 8%.

Malaysia’s lead agency in developing the halal industry, the Halal Industry Development Corporation, is also holding the 9th World Halal Conference (WHC) under the theme ‘Halal at the Forefront of Economic and Social Change’ from March 30-31.

Over 1,000 Halal industry’s stakeholders and foreign delegates are expected to participate in this year’s conference, which will be presided by patron of the WHC and former Malaysian Prime Minister, Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi. The opening ceremony also saw the attendance of Deputy PM of Thailand, Somkid Jatusripitak.

The two-day conference will focus on various aspects of the halal industry including challenges facing the global halal economy, the rise of halal e-commerce, new business opportunities, and the need to develop new enterprises.

In the meantime, 54 halal certification bodies from 32 countries including Vietnam have gathered at the 7th Halal Certification Bodies Convention 2016. The annual event provides a platform for these agencies to make exchanges on topics relating to Halal certification issues such as the implementation of the halal quality assurance system among food industries in Malaysia, as well as ethical issues affecting certification bodies.

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