Malaysia reaffirms pledge in halal food efforts with Asean peers

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has reaffirmed Malaysia’s willingness to work with other nations especially within Asean, on increasing self sufficiency in halal food.

This should go beyond halal food to include halal pharmaceuticals, halal medical devices and even halal ingredients, Muhyiddin said.

“As the current chairman of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec), I would like to call on Apec economies to collaborate with Malaysia to make halal products more readily available, affordable and sustainable for the 1.8 billion global Muslim population,” he said at the World Halal Conference (WHC) 2020 here today.

His keynote address was read by Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

The 12th WHC 2020 commences discussions today on the transition towards sustainable consumption and production following the global pandemic to pave way towards the new world economy.

With the theme “Halal Community Driving the New Economy”, topics discussed will highlight on the sustainable consumption and production as a game changer leading the evolution towards digital economy following the global pandemic.

Organiser Halal Investment Development Corp (HDC) said breakdown in economic supply chain had presented opportunities to recalibrate and reinvent programmes towrds a more sustainable future.

HDC chairman Datuk Mahmud Abbas said the growth opportunities were abundance with other halal emerging markets of pharmaceutical, cosmetic personal care, medical devices and travel expected to see a rise in demand due to the change in consumer behaviour.

He said the Malaysian halal industry was forecasted to contribute seven per cent to the country’s gross domestic product in 2019 and 7.8 per cent by 2020.

In 2019, Malaysia registered a total halal export value by ceritfied halal exporters of RM40.2 billion, a slight increase from RM40 billion in 2018, backed by higher imports from the US.

The one day hybrid conference, a combination of virtual and physical event at the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre, has five sessions revolving on the role of the halal players at different stages in the halal ecosystem.