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9 Apr, 2014

Huge turnout for International Halal Food Expo in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 (BERNAMA) — 43 companies from Saudi Arabia are participating in the 11th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS 2014), being held here from 9 -12 April 2014 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), making it the largest foreign participation so far. MIHAS is organised by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) under the banner of World Halal Week, Kuala Lumpur.

For the first time this year, MIHAS 2014 has partnered with Saudi Arabia through Saudi Export Development Authority (SEDA) to further strengthen the relationship between both countries and help create more opportunities for both countries to collaborate and tap into the huge Halal market demand within the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Business Monitor International (2011) statistics reported that Saudi Arabia accounts for up to 63 percent of the Gulf Cooperation Council or GCC’s USD9 billion food and beverage market. This makes the country a major business and investment destination for key players in the food production value chain. Amid the Kingdom’s rapidly increasing population, which is expected to double by 2023, per capita food consumption is projected to expand by 31.24 percent this year. This is also reflected in the emergence of a network of hypermarkets in Saudi Arabia where the number of imported goods are steadily rising.

The global Halal market has been growing consistently over the last decade as increasing number of discerning customers seek out Halal products and services in their everyday life. Not surprisingly, the number of exporters of Halal products and services from Saudi Arabia has also been growing, ready to gain market share in the estimated US$2.3 trillion market.

While the oil & gas industry remains the dominant driver for Saudi’s exports, a number of additional key strategic sectors have witnessed considerable growth and development. As part of its 9th National Development Plan, the Kingdom focused on undertaking a number of targeted economic policies and infrastructure investments focused on developing a strong and vibrant manufacturing base.

As a subsector of manufacturing, the food processing industry has significantly contributed to the overall growth in exports sector. Since 1995, Saudi Arabian food exports have witnessed an average annual growth rate of 15%, and the overall value of food products exported from Saudi Arabia have reached more than SAR 13 billion. Moreover, the number of food processing factories have reached around 1,000. These facilities produce a wide range of high quality food products that include dairy, meats, dates, honey, and confectionaries.

The product range is contributed by prominent names of companies from Saudi Arabia. By connecting Saudi Halal food producers and global distributers via MIHAS 2014, SEDA not only hopes to further Saudi food exports, but also seeks to ensure the dissemination of quality Halal foods made in the land of the two Holy Mosques to Muslims all over the world.

Saudi’s participation is clearly recognition for MIHAS and Malaysia as it continues to take a more proactive role in promoting Halal products and services globally. MIHAS 2014 also receive participation from various foreign governments and agencies; Thailand (36 companies), Indonesia (30 companies), and Iran (21 companies) are among the 500 exhibitors participating at MIHAS this year.

Various activities will be conducted during the 4-day exhibition. An Incoming Buying Mission (IBM), which is a one-to-one business meeting, will be pre-arranged by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) for some 500 pre-selected foreign buyers to meet the local halal manufacturers and service providers. MIHAS 2014 is projecting some RM500 million in sales from about RM411 million sales received last year attributed to a better outlook in global economy, a higher demand for halal products and services and more number of booths available this year.

Pocket Talk Series will also be conducted on the 10th of April as an avenue to provide insights on regulations, packaging, labeling and challenges in exporting to United Kingdom and Belgium as well as on franchising opportunities in the Halal industry.

About 60 per cent of booths taken up will display food, beverage and pharmaceutical related products while the rest comprises of cosmetics and toiletries, food packaging, machinery and catering equipment as well as Islamic financial products and services.