World Halal Week 2018: Malaysia in the lead as a Robust Islamic Economy


World Halal Week (WHW) 2018 is organised and by Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) as the central agency under the Prime Minister’s Department of Malaysia in collaboration with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM). Themed “Building for the Future”, the World Halal Week has become pivotal in steering the growth of the global Halal industry.

In the presence of a number of ministers from Malaysia and other countries, the WHW was officially launched by the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia YB Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who emphasised Malaysia’s reaffirmed position as the leading global Halal hub. “To date, a total of 28,000 jobs were created. These contributed approximately 7.5% to our nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for last year,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, YB Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said that “The Government recognises the potential of the Halal industry and Islamic banking and finance, both pillars for the development of the Islamic economy. As such, the government will continue to support the development of these two industries which would provide economic benefit to the country and Muslim ummah globally.”

The WHW 2018 comprised of three major components: a two-day World Halal Conference 2018 (WHC 2018) organised by HDC on 4 and 5 April; the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) from 4 until 7 April organised by MATRADE; and the Malaysia International Halal Assembly (MyHA) between 26 March and ended 3 April organised by JAKIM.

Speaking of the 10th World Halal Conference which starts today, HDC Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Seri Jamil Bidin said the event brings together more than 1,000 delegates from more than 50 countries to discuss an underlining theme “Whither the Next Economy?” It is an international platform to highlight the areas of Malaysian expertise that seeks to become a global benchmark in the development of the Halal industry.

This year, more interesting segment of the conference was led by His Royal Highness Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Darul Ridzuan Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-Lah which takes a look at the global integration and strategic collaboration in internationalising of Islamic economy. HRH Sultan Nazrin said the Islamic economy is increasingly being embraced on a global scale to become an integral part of the international system, and in the process of its development, has further expanded opportunities for the participation by the international community.

A few kilometers away from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Kuala Lumpur, where the WHC was held, the 15th edition of MIHAS was taking place at the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Center (MITEC). MIHAS is currently the world’s largest trade fair dedicated to halal economy attracting exhibitors from over 40 countries including Indonesia, Thailand, China, the Philippines, Japan, France, India and South Africa. MATRADE has also invited over 200 international buyers to attend MIHAS. These buyers were pre-selected by MATRADE’s 47 worldwide offices.

The third feature of this year’s WHW has been Malaysia International Halal Assembly (MyHA) which is a combination of four programmes; the Halal Professional Board course, International Halal Capacity Development Programme, Halal Certification Bodies Convention and the International Halal Authority Board General Assembly; MyHA was held along 9 days at Le Meridien Hotel Putrajaya, Malaysia. More than 900 participants from over 42 countries attended the programme.

As part of the WHW 2018, a special award ceremony was organised during a gala dinner to honour the contributions of eight individuals, institutions and companies as recipients of the 2018 Halal Excellence Awards. The awards by the HDC were presented tonight by Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. The recipients of the award were:

  1. Brahim’s Holdings Berhad received the Halal Excellence Award.
  2. McDonalds Malaysia received the Halal Brand Award.
  3. The Human Resource Development Fund received the Talent Development Award.
  4. The Halal Products Research Institute received the Halal Science and Research Award.
  5. Nestle (Malaysia) Berhad was named as Successful International Halal Company.
  6. Mamee Double-Decker (M) Sdn Bhd was named as Successful Malaysian Halal Company.
  7. Broadcasting agency NHK from Japan received the Halal Awareness Initiative Award.
  8. The 2018 Halal Excellence Award also recognised the late Tan Sri Dr. Surin Abdul Halim Ismail Pitsuwan in acknowledgement of his efforts to develop the global halal industry.

Before bidding farewell to the speakers, delegates and participants who came from many countries around the world, Malaysia’s HDC exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Thai Small and Medium Enterprises Council with the aspiration of creating greater trade and investment activities and wider market access opportunities between Halal industry players in both countries. In 2017, Malaysia’s Halal export value to Thailand amounted to RM1.76 billion, up from RM1.5 billion from the previous year with the food and beverage sector continuing to dominate (RM927 million).

Even though the early development of Islamic economy was very much domestic-centric, its growth today is no longer organic and it is largely concentrated in countries where the Muslim population is significant. The prime contributor to this is the increasing demand for Halal products, and greater acceptance of Islamic finance. The WHW provides a trusted platform for such demand to be fulfilled.

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