PORT DICKSON: Entrepreneurs in the country, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are urged to apply for halal certification that could help in their endeavour into global halal markets.

Entrepreneur Development Deputy Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Hatta Md Ramli said almost 90% of the entrepreneurs in the country were currently operating without halal certification.

One of the reasons was many of them feel that they did not need to apply for the certification as they were conducting their businesses in a traditional manner, he said at the closing of a seminar on increasing business revenue with halal certification here today.

“We want SMEs to become one of the main contributors to the country’s economy, and to do so, they need to go international as the Malaysian market with 32 million population is not big enough for them to grow and become a key contributor.

“However, international markets have higher expectations, therefore, our entrepreneurs should not take them for granted,” he added.

Mohd Hatta said as of end last year, 8,120 companies, including SMEs, were halal-certified.

“Halal certification is one of the catalysts in ensuring the success of a business, particularly in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries,” he said.

Mohd Hatta added that it was also quite shameful if the local entrepreneurs did not leverage the country’s facilities in terms of halal certification. — Bernama