KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — Malaysia and Indonesia need to go beyond the focus on the standardisation of halal certificates and build the halal economy ecosystem to become bigger players in the global halal industry.
Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia Hermono said as Indonesia is the largest Muslim-populated country and Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country, both countries should be taking the lead and be the main player in the global halal industry, instead of non-Muslim majority countries such as Thailand, Brazil and Australia.
“I believe we (Malaysia and Indonesia) can cooperate hand in hand to develop and tap into this huge potential in the halal economy.
“I also hope that we can identify the areas of cooperation so that we can each benefit from this halal industry,” he said in his special remarks at the inaugural Malaysia-Indonesia Halal Forum and Industry Engagement 2023 here, today.
Hermono further hoped that the forum would reach some concrete cooperation beyond the standardisation of halal certificates, and discuss how to develop a global halal economy ecosystem.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently signed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Indonesia on food security would benefit and contribute to the Islamic economy and industry, taking into account Indonesia’s huge human resources and landbank as well as Malaysia’s advanced experience in the halal industry.
Meanwhile, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) deputy secretary-general (industry) Datuk Seri Norazman Ayob in his remarks said the halal economy is poised to become more integrated with global trade and supply chains, and with a higher level of trade and Islamic finance, it needs to recognise and adopt the environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.
“In order to remain relevant in line with global development, the halal industry needs to consider two main aspects, namely ESG compliance and supply chain resilience.
“What these hold for the halal industry and the larger economy is the opportunity for us to further develop the halal supply chain that would meet the highest exacting standards, particularly in relation to the environmental sustainability and labour practice,” he said.
Norazman added that Indonesia is Malaysia’s fifth largest halal trading partner, with Malaysian halal exports to the republic totalling RM9.34 billion within the last five years (2017-2021).
“The food and beverage sector represented the largest at RM1.06 billion or 11.6 per cent of Malaysian halal exports to Indonesia,” he said.
The three-day forum held from January 16 to January 18 is organised by Halal Development Corporation (HDC), the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) and Indonesia’s Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Produk Halal (BPJPH) to address issues and challenges faced by Malaysian halal-certified exporters in entering the Indonesian market.
The annual forum is also positioned as the best platform to obtain updates and current news on halal regulations and requirements in both countries while promoting the overall halal trade.