MELBOURNE: Government-to-Government (G2G) collaboration is the way forward for Malaysia to expand its halal certification and leverage trade relationship with other countries, said the Halal Development Corporation (HDC).
Its chief executive officer Hairol Ariffein Sahari said the halal agenda needs coordination because it involves various agencies and bodies.
“That is why we are expanding our knowledge or collaboration in the halal industry and looking for partners to help us coordinate with the halal issues happening in their respective countries,” he told Bernama after the launch of the World Halal Business Conference Circuit 2022 (WHBCC) here today.
Currently, Malaysia’s halal certification is issued by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia is acknowledged by 84 bodies in 46 countries.
Hairol reiterated that the first step is G2G and then it depends on the particular country’s appetite and readiness to explore the halal market.
“For example, when Malaysia announced its collaboration with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) last year to strategically cooperate in the halal economy, potential investors and traders showed great interest.
“This is because, we must understand, that not all countries out there has a mature halal ecosystem,” he said.
Besides the halal ecosystem, Hairol said it was imperative for countries to incorporate the halal agenda into the country’s economic agenda.
He cited Malaysia as an example, where the government has been steadfast in championing Halal Malaysia, which is a combination of developing the halal certification and the industry as a whole.
“The industry is fast growing and Malaysia’s halal certification is the most recognised halal standard in the world,” he said.
In his WHBCC welcoming speech, Hairol said 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.
“Besides, they also look at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation for market access, business expansion, networks and collaboration opportunities, investments and so on,” he said.
Commenting on the Malaysia-Australia halal industry, Hairol said Malaysia is a major importer with 71 per cent of halal-certified meats available in the country coming from Australia.
Apart from Brazil, Argentina and India, Australia is one of the leading hubs that export dairy products and meat to Muslim countries.
Australia is one of Malaysia’s top exporters of halal ingredients, halal food and beverages, as well cosmetics and personal care.
The HDC believes that by linking the halal ecosystem between both countries, it would lead to a broader future for the business and social communities to build networks, spur innovations and encourage new creations together.
Meanwhile, the WHBCC is being held for the first time outside Malaysia and is anticipated to uplift the global halal industry, especially in the trade sector between both countries to new heights.
The conference is organised by the HDC and supported by its partners, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (AUSTRADE) and the State Government of Victoria.
The two-day forum, which for the past 13 editions was held in Malaysia, has the “Thought Leadership Conference” billed as the main event.
It features a total of 46 panellists and moderators, with six parallel sessions on various subsectors within the halal economy.
This year’s WHBCC will take advantage of the physical gathering of key government leaders and representatives of both countries, as well as captains of the industry, businesses, trade councils, and civil society leaders from all over the world to deliberate, promote, and network in areas such as food security, safety and sustainability and halal ingredients ecosystem, among others. – BERNAMA