KUALA LUMPUR – There is a need to foster mutual recognition of halal certification among the various certification bodies across the world, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He suggested this solution given that the possibility of having a single harmonised standard appears to be remote.
Ahmad Zahid noted that there were more than 200 certification bodies around the world, issuing their own halal certificates and logos.
“We should foster mutual recognition of each other’s certification. I sincerely hope we will look into this possible solution seriously,” he said when opening the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2017 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), here, today.
The lack of a single unified standard was a challenge, he said, adding that upholding halal integrity was another.
Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia had entered the third and final implementation phase of the Halal Industry Master Plan, with an emphasis on broadening home-grown companies and internationalisation of the halal industry.
He said the Malaysian government was focused on a more holistic approach towards creating a halal ecosystem to turn the country into a leading global halal hub.
The approach, he said, emphasised on enhancing activities through the halal supply chain.
“Besides halal products and providing halal-related services, the halal supply chain also includes Islamic finance and banking, logistics, tourism, takaful and other halal-related support services,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid also said that a number of Arab countries had expressed keen interest in building a halal ecosystem with Malaysia.
In terms of economic development, he said Malaysian halal products continued to command strong interest among customers worldwide, with exports increasing from RM23.9 billion in 2011 to RM39.3 billion last year.
“We attribute this to the aggressive promotion of our halal products and services through events such as MIHAS as well as our trade missions abroad,” he said.
The deputy prime minister said China was among the top destinations for Malaysian halal exports, along with Singapore, the United States and Japan.
He said the major items exported were food and beverage followed by halal ingredients and palm oil derivatives.
It is forecast that by 2020, Malaysia’s annual halal exports will exceed RM50 billion.
This year, MIHAS 2017 hosts 580 exhibitors from 33 countries including ASEAN members, Palestine, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Brazil, South Africa, China, Japan and Taiwan. – BERNAMA