Halal Malaysia Ecosystem Offers a Viable Solution for Economic Recovery

Hairol-Ariffein-Sahari

The World Halal Business Conference 2021 (WHBC2021) is set to stage on 9 September 2021

Petaling- The thirteenth edition of the World Halal Business Conference 2021 (WHBC 2021) organised by the Halal Development Corporation (HDC) Berhad that will commence on 9 September 2021 is set to discuss the role and contribution of the halal industry towards global economic recovery.

The Covid-19 pandemic that has beset the world since late 2019 inadvertently dampened efforts for more industries to be more competitive in efforts to achieve the global halal market goal in 2030.

Hosted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), WHBC 2021 has now become a staple of the global halal calendar.

Today, speaking at the Soft Launch ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of HDC, Hairol Ariffein Sahari, says that Malaysia’s halal industry has indeed evolved to become one of the nation’s main engines of economic growth.

The halal food and beverages sector, which also includes the halal ingredients sector, already account for more than 85% of Malaysia’s total halal exports. Meanwhile, halal cosmetics and personal care, industrial chemicals, and halal pharmaceuticals make up a combined 13.1% of Malaysia’s total halal exports in Q1 2021.

“For the halal industry, which today makes up some 15% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP), its role and contribution in protecting the lives and health of every citizen is made all the more glaring and crucial today,” said Hairol.

“From the special survey on ‘Effects of Covid-19 on the Economy and Companies/Business Firms – Round 1’, results recorded that some 67.8% of Malaysian businesses did not make any sales during the first imposed movement control order (MCO) from 10 April until 1 May 2020,” he continued.

He added, in terms of business sustainability, a staggering half (around 53.4%) of the total of 4,094 businesses were only able to survive one to two months during the MCO.

For the record, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has recently revised Malaysia’s growth projection downwards, to 3-4% for the full year of 2021, against an earlier estimate of 6-7.5%.

This is in line with the actions of the World Bank, which had lowered the country’s projected economic growth from 6% to 4.5% for 2021.

It is expected that 3,000 delegates from 35 countries with representatives from various sectors including government agencies, industry experts, policy makers, academic scholars as well as members of the general public will be attending WHBC2021, to be held fully online for the first time.

Hairol Ariffein Sahari

Among the delegates expected to take part will be representatives from Australia, Canada, Senegal, South Africa, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and more.

The WHBC 2021 will present a line-up of many illustrious speakers and panellists, all captains of the industry  under one event.  Amongst the speakers are H.E. Ebrahim Patel, Minister Trade, Industry & Competition, South Africa; Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour, Deputy Gabenor, Bank Negara; Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Board Of Trustee, World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF); Dr Mah Hussain-Gambles, Principal Scientist, Origin Pharma Packaging, UK, and Navid Akhtar, CEO & Founder of Alchemiya.com, also from the UK and many more.

Meanwhile, during the Soft Launch, several financial institutions and corporations including UOB Bank, Saadiq Standard Chartered Bank, Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad, Capital Markets Malaysia, F&N, Duopharma, the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA), MATRADE, CIMB and Takaful Malaysia have confirmed their involvement as strategic partners in ensuring the success of the conference.

WHBC 2021 will be addressing the changes in the halal sector that have led to subsequent transformations within the industry due to the pandemic while also exploring the challenges as well as opportunities that have emerged in the context of better management and utilisation.

In 2030, the halal industry market size in Malaysia is expected to increase by as much as USD113.2 billion.

Despite the odds, the world now moves at a faster pace when it comes to new transformations as consumer demands for safe and hygienic products have increased and will continue to do so even after the pandemic.

At HDC, several initiatives have been offered for this purpose, including the introduction of the HDC’s digital platform Halal Integrated Platform (HIP) and services such as Halal Parks, Halal Training Institute, Halal Consultancy & Advisory and Halal Knowledge Centre.

This is due to the rise of digital commerce, as consumers shift to online platforms to acquire products and services.

One of such platform is the SMEXpert Mobile App by Bank, launched in conjunction with the WHBC2021 Webinar Series: 𝗣𝗢𝗦𝗧 𝗥𝗘𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗘𝗥𝗬 𝗧𝗛𝗥𝗢𝗨𝗚𝗛 𝗗𝗜𝗚𝗜𝗧𝗔𝗟𝗜𝗭𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡. The application was developed by Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad to create an SME ecosystem platform that supports the SMEs to improve their business practices via financial inclusion, and to grow their business with ease, by having the right knowledge, financial support and international market outreach.

Being the first halal initiative that has full backing from the government, the results shown by HDC over the past 15 years as the country’s leading halal promoter,  the halal industry has been transformed to be not just about certification but has evolved into an entire economy, with its own interacting ecosystem that is vibrant and globally respected.

This annual conference is well-established as a global thought leadership platform that brings together communities within the halal ecosystem. It is also one of the government’s strategies to establish Malaysia as a global halal hub, as well as a platform connecting heads of governments, scholars and industry players in discussing initiatives to stimulate exponential growth in the global halal economy.

An international meeting of the halal industry community in exploring opportunities and challenges in the halal economy, the conference discusses current as well as future initiatives in laying down the groundwork and driving the industry towards a higher rate of growth.

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