Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

27 Mar, 2015

Malaysia Aims to Energise Halal Ecosystem via World Halal Summit starting 30 March

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (26 March 2015) – Malaysia will take another giant leap towards establishing the country as the global Halal hub when it hosts the World Halal Summit. Scheduled to be held from 30th March to 4th April 2015 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), WHS 2015 is set to be the largest Halal event of its kind in the entire Asean region.

The Halal component of the global economy is now estimated at USD 2.3 trillion. The Halal food sector alone accounts for almost USD 700 billion of that total. The Halal economy is a niche that’s becoming a major sector of the international economy as it evolves and matures to serve the needs of the worldwide Muslim population of about 1.8 billion.

YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed,  Minister of International Trade and Industry giving a presentation at the World Halal Summit 2015 Media Announcement

YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry giving a presentation at the World Halal Summit 2015 Media Announcement

With an impressive track-record of over a decade of world-class Halal expos and conferences, Malaysia provides regional and global leadership across many of the Islamic economy sectors, a role that will be enhanced this year with the hosting of the World Halal Summit 2015.

The World Halal Summit is aimed at transforming the dynamics of Halal-related events around the world, and to create the most relevant platform for thought leadership, business matching, marketing and promotion, as well as trade and investment within the Halal sphere. With the ultimate aim to unite the global Halal marketplace, the WHS is thus set up:

  • To provide a solid knowledge-sharing, problem-solving, marketing and trading platform that gathers all relevant industry players, thought leaders, scholars and financiers;
  • To facilitate marketing and trade of Halal products and services on a global level;
  • To encourage growth of sustainable businesses within the Halal sphere;
  • To develop knowledge-based human capital, which is vital for the growth of the Halal industry; and
  • To encourage research and development to produce innovative Halal goods, services and its processes, as well as to affirm and protect the Halal integrity of goods and services.

To this effect, WHS will feature one trade fair and six subject-focused forums hosted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry Malaysia (MITI) and jointly organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), and Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC). WHS is also co-organised and managed by Shapers Malaysia Sdn Bhd with the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) and Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) as strategic partners.

The largest, world-renowned integrated Halal trade fair, Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS), by MATRADE will be the highlight of WHS this year. As one of the pioneers in Halal trade development, MIHAS, in its 12th edition, has now evolved from being a platform to create awareness on Halal products and services, to an emphasis on business transactions by encouraging and creating opportunities for trade and investment between local and international Halal industry stakeholders.

Since the inaugural trade show in 2004, MIHAS has now become the go-to Halal expo having congregated approximately 170,000 visitors from 70 nations, 4,000 companies from 48 countries, and generated more than USD3 billion in sales over the past 11 years. MIHAS’ stature has attracted global recognition as demonstrated in the increasing numbers of Halal economy stakeholders who seek to participate in the showcase event.

“This year, we have allocated 640 booths for local and international businesses who are seeking to reach out to the right target audience for their Halal products and services. As of today, a total of 534 local and international companies have taken up our booths – with 55 per cent local exhibitors and 45 per cent international businesses from 20 countries. 12 of these countries are from outside the membership of the Organisation of Islamic Conference: Belgium, China, France, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and USA. Representatives from OIC countries are from Bangladesh Indonesia, Iran, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey.

“Last year, MIHAS generated total sales of USD291.4 million of which sales from the exhibition alone was recorded at USD147.5 million, and USD143.9 million from business matching. In tandem with increasing interest in the global Islamic economy sectors, we expect sales from MIHAS 2015 to multiply.” said Datuk Dr. Wong Lai Sum, Chief Executive Officer of MATRADE,

In addition to MIHAS, the World Halal Summit brings together some of the key components of the Halal ecosystem, including standards and certification, scholars and academics, as well as trade and investment stakeholders through the six subject-focused and result oriented forums currently positioned under the WHS banner. This integrated approach creates a foundation for the next decade of growth across the Halal market sectors, and re-confirms Malaysia’s pivotal role in thought-leadership, the development of global regulatory frameworks and in stimulating trade and investment in regional and global markets.

The six forums are the World Halal Conference (WHC), the 6th JAKIM International Halal Certification Bodies Convention, the Certifiers Forum, Scholars Forum, Academics Forum, and the Business Forum.

The World Halal Conference (WHC) is a renowned annual conference by HDC hosting Halal stakeholders in unison, to deliberate on a common platform and the future outlook of the global Halal industry. Themed “Halal Economy – A Profitable Convergence”, WHC will feature intellectual discourse sessions and a Halal industry galleria showcase. Besides providing the platform to network and exchange views on the current economic situation, world-renowned leaders, speakers and moderators will be discussing on interdependent and interconnected matters surrounding Halal economy issues in relation to Halal trade and Islamic finance.

According to HDC’s Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Seri Jamil Bidin, “The conference’s theme reflects the need for a renewed global effort amongst Halal stakeholders to further strengthen the integration of industries within the Halal ecosystem towards the realisation of a holistic Halal economy. More emphasis must be placed on areas that include research and development, innovation, human capital development, as well as Islamic banking and finance to develop a seamless point-to-point Halal supply chain. In this instance, Islamic asset-based banking instruments must support the financing of the Halal industry in the effort to realise true convergence of Syariah principles throughout the industry.”

The 6th JAKIM International Halal Certification Bodies Convention will convene more than 70 JAKIM recognised Halal certification bodies (CBs), which is meant to strengthen cordial relationship, and exchange opinions on Halal certification issues based on the Malaysian Halal Standard and its experience.

For members of independent Halal certification bodies and standards development agencies, the Certifiers Forum is the exclusive meeting place to explore new avenues towards collaborative common ground with the aim of bringing forward new ideas and ways to strengthen the foundations of the Halal market.

The Scholars Forum will be a prestigious assembly of scholars and community leaders from around the world to converse on topics relating to the Halal market including other matters of concern and relevance to the wider Islamic economy such as food commodity speculation, the patenting of genetically modified seeds, as well as ethical and moral issues affecting commerce, the environment and the protection of the poor and disadvantaged peoples of the world.

Specifically designed to focus on education, training programmes and modules, the roles of academia, and other disciplines relevant to the global Halal industry, the Academics Forum aims to foster and enable discussions that will create more opportunities for the necessary human resource development within the Halal ecosystem.

The Business Forum aims to bring some of the sharpest minds and best research to explore the way forward in the exciting arena of trade and investment within Islamic economy sectors such as Halal food, modest fashion, Muslim-friendly travel, media and recreation, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics as well as Islamic finance, and will include an Investment Matching Segment (IMS) to link up Halal businesses with Islamic banks, private equity firms and investment banks.

The structure of the World Halal Summit, that integrates the trade fair and discussion forums under one umbrella, has been designed to meet the challenges of the next phase of growth of the Halal ecosystem, and to enable new structures and regulatory frameworks that will increase confidence amongst consumers, industry players and investors, and stimulate the continued growth of the global Halal ecosystem and the wider Islamic economy for the benefit of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The World Halal Summit 2015 is set to be officially opened by Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak.