WELCOMING ADDRESS BY
MR HAIROL ARIFFEIN SAHARI
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
HALAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION BERHAD
AT WORLD HALAL BUSINESS CONFERENCE (WHBC) CIRCUIT 2022
1 SEPTEMBER 2022
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
- Alhamdulillah, all praise to the Almighty, by whose grace and blessings, we are gathered here today for the inaugural World Halal Business Conference Circuit 2022 (WHBC) in Australia. On behalf of HDC, I would like to warmly welcome all guests and participants to this event.
- HDC is very excited to host this annual conference outside of Malaysia after 14 years in Kuala Lumpur, as we aim to expand the Halal industry beyond the ASEAN region.
- Thank you to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (AUSTRADE) for tirelessly working together with HDC to make the WHBC 2022 happen.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- The Halal industry in Malaysia began in 1974 when the Government introduced a national certification to recognize Halal. Today, we are proud to say that Malaysia’s Halal certificate is the most recognized standard of Halal in the world – which is acknowledged by more than 40 countries.
- The Government is steadfast in championing Halal Malaysia as Halal is industry segment that is fast growing. Halal products and services are not just for Muslims, as it encompasses sustainability, ethical consumption and green growth.
- Other countries such as Russia, China, Mongolia, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, our ASEAN neighbours to name a few, look to Malaysia to develop and link their Halal ecosystems with us and the OIC for market access, business expansion, networks and collaboration opportunities, investments and so on.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation globally, the adoption of IT has become a necessity in the way the world does things today. The same goes for the Halal industry and economy.
- That is why the theme for this year’s WHBC is Halal Opportunities in a Borderless World, to suit the post-pandemic agenda. Tapping into this digital era is utmost important for all players of the Halal industry.
- This year’s conference will be interesting as the distinguished panel are from diverse backgrounds – the government, industry and civil society covering Food Security, Safety and Sustainability, Halal Ingredients Ecosystem, Halal Business Agility through Digitalization, Halal Finance and Banking, Muslim Friendly Tourism and Halal Trade Connectivity.
- We are most fortunate to be able to have esteemed speakers at our conference share their experience in Halal.
- Australia is our first destination for WHBC as it has a mature Halal ecosystem and market with an established Australian Government Authorized Halal Program (AGAHP).
- Australia is one of the leading hubs that export dairy products and meat to Muslim countries, a part from Brazil, Argentina and India. This is evident by Malaysia being a major importer as well, 71% of our Halal-certified meats come from Australia.
- Malaysia is also grateful that Australia is one of our top exporters of Halal food and beverages, Halal ingredients, and cosmetics & personal care.
- HDC believes that linking the Halal ecosystem between both countries could support and expand a broader future for the business and social communities to build networks, spur innovations and encourage new creations, together.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Before I conclude, on behalf of HDC, I would like to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to Her Excellency, Madam Mazita Marzuki, Consul General of Malaysia in Melbourne who will officiate the WHBC today.
- HDC hopes that all delegates will maximize opportunities and reap a plethora of benefits out of this two-day event.
- HDC’s sincere appreciation also goes out to the Malaysian Consulate General Offices in Australia, fellow Government agencies: Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI), Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (JAKIM), the Victorian Government, the Islamic Coordinating Council of Victoria, strategic partners and sponsors.
- Our thanks to both international and local media partners as well, for the coverage of our WHBC 2022.
- Before we part, I would like to close with one of my favourite quotes, from the Arab Muslim jurist, theologian, and hadith traditionist – Imam Malik ibn Anas: “Knowledge is that which benefits, not that which is memorized in life”.
- And so on this note, esteemed delegates, I encourage you to fully maximize your time from this two-day event, to benefit and gain, as much knowledge and networks as possible on the Halal industry.