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Thursday, 12 March 2009

Malaysia Poised To Be Global Halal Hub

KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is in a strong position to be the global halal industry hub with its established reference point as the centre for training, research and development (R&D), and standards.

In stating this, Halal Industry Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (HDC) managing director and chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin, said that having taken the lead, Malaysia has moved aggressively in the industry over the years.

"We started with the development of standards and are now moving into logistics, non-food products and are now way ahead of many countries in terms of the halal industry," he said.

He was speaking at a media conference here Wednesday to announce the 6th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2009 which will be at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre from May 6 to 10.

Jamil said the Malaysian halal industry has the potential to contribute 5.8 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, in line with the target's set by HDC under its masterplan for the industry.


He said the global economic downturn had caused HDC to prioritise its projects.

"This is a big industry we are pursuing and we also face stiff competition from some countries. However, we have the edge as we started moving aggressively in this industry way back in the 1980s," he added.

HDC was set up on Sept 18, 2006, to coordinate the overall development of the halal industry with its focus being the development of standards, audit and certification, capacity building for halal products and services, and to facilitate the growth of Malaysian companies in the global halal market.

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) chief executive officer, Datuk Noharuddin Nordin, said the second economic stimulus budget announced yesterday will also help in the development of the halal industry.

"It addressed issues on the access of financing," he said during the media conference.

Noharuddin said with the RM5 billion working capital guarantee scheme to be established by the government, more funding will be available for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in presenting the mini-budget yesterday, said that SMEs could apply for loans under the RM5 billion scheme.

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