Jakim sees 10% halal exports growth this year

27 Aug 2018 / 23:53 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s exports of halal products are expected to rise by 10% this year supported by higher demand for local halal products, according to Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) halal division director Datuk Dr Sirajuddin Suhaimee.
    In 2017, Malaysia’s halal exports reached RM45 billion, a 3% increase from the figures recorded in 2016.
    “Lately, the demand for halal products is not only from the Muslim countries, (but) the non-Muslim (countries) are also looking at it, especially from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan,” Sirajuddin told reporters after witnessing the signing of a collaborative agreement between Taiwan Halal Integrity Development Association (Thida) and Serunai Commerce today.
    The collaboration aims to provide halal systems training, development, certification and trading to help drive the demand and development in Taiwan.
    Serunai Commerce also signed a memorandum of understanding with Northport (Malaysia) Bhd to create an integrated logistics system and hub with the objective of becoming a global hub for halal trade.
    Serunai Commerce is the global halal data pool developer, which helps small and medium enterprises trade their products to companies in other countries. It also developed the “Verify Halal” app with Jakim to enable consumers to check the halal status of a product.
    Meanwhile, Sirajuddin noted that there is an ongoing demand for Jakim’s halal certification from North European countries looking to market to the Middle East particularly.
    To date, he said, Jakim’s halal certification is recognised across 42 countries, with the most recent being Lithuania and Kazakhstan.
    In the past two years, he added, Jakim had taken various initiatives to simplify the application for such certification.
    Currently, the halal certification applications by foreign companies would take about three months to be approved, and up to 30 days for local companies.
    International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking, who was also present at the event held in conjunction with Arab Malaysian Chamber of Commerce Bhd business symposium and 8th AGM, said the halal industry grows at almost 20% a year globally, in which collectively, Malaysia and the Arab countries make up the bulk of it.
    Asked on the long-delayed free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Darell said he will put forward the matter to the Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad and decide whether or not to revive it.
    The Malaysia-GCC FTA negotiations which started in 2011, are yet to have an agreed framework as they have been put on hold due to several challenges, including the political situation in the Arab region.
    The proposed FTA aims to facilitate expansion of trade relations between Malaysia and the GCC, comprising the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait.
    In his speech earlier, Leiking said trade between Malaysia and the GCC in the first half of 2018 increased by 0.7% compared to the first half in 2017. The number of Arab businesses and investments in Malaysia has also been on the rise with more than 260% increase in value from US$115 million in 2014 to US$426 million in 2017.


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