HALAL – The Catalyst for Universal Economic Recovery

Prime Minister of Malaysia, Y.A.B Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob

The World Halal Business Conference 2021 (WHBC2021)

Petaling Jaya, 9 September 2021 – The inaugural edition of the World Halal Business Conference 2021 (WHBC 2021) organised by the Halal Development Corporation (HDC) was officiated today by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Y.A.B Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, with the event being held fully by 3000 online delegates from more than 60 countries.

A rebrand of the long-running World Halal Forum, WHBC 2021 aims to be the halal industry’s leading stage for government representatives, key opinion leaders, captains of industries and experts to discuss their roles and contributions in accelerating global economic recovery.

With the theme “Halal – The Catalyst for Universal Economic Recovery”, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Senior Minister, Minister of International Trade and Industry Malaysia (MITI), who delivered the Keynote Address for WHBC 2021 on behalf the Prime Minister, applauds the aptness and relevance of the event and its overall theme, given the current global economic recovery process where Halal can assume an important feature and be a catalyst through its various value propositions.

“This Conference demonstrates the firm commitment and reliance of all stakeholders that the Halal economy remains resilient and becoming a strong contributor to the global economic recovery,” said the Prime Minister.

He added, with Covid-19 causing widespread downtown to the global economy, questions have emerged about the need for self-sufficiency in certain critical products including Halal that cut across pharmaceuticals, medical devices and food. He reasoned that the Halal food and beverages industry alone is estimated to be worth USD2.1 trillion, while the Halal cosmetics and the Halal pharmaceuticals industries are collectively worth USD136 billion.

“Hence, there are immense opportunities in these Halal industries not only in terms of business but more importantly, catering to the sufficiency of a nation,” said the Prime Minister. He also called for proactiveness in helping the halal micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), who account for 70% of total halal industry players, many of whom are micro-businesses operating in the F&B sector.

Earlier, the Prime Minister also launched the Halal Integrated Platform (HIP), a one-stop digital halal platform that connects industry players, especially amongst the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), to government agencies, businesses and consumers within the entire Halal ecosystem.

HIP gathers halal service providers and suppliers on one platform and facilitates worldwide connections and communication between the industry players, thus giving businesses a competitive edge to tap into this growing industry.

“The pandemic has also exposed vulnerabilities in the Halal industry, particularly amongst the MSMEs. Players therefore must be quick to adopt digital solutions in the fast-changing technological landscape in order to stay ahead of the curve and compete globally,” added the Prime Minister.

At the same time, Dato’ Sri Ismail also stressed on the importance of the halal industry and the Islamic finance sector to work hand-in-hand to create a fully halal economy, as a way to complement each other along its entire value chain, and to produce what the Malaysia International Islamic Finance Center (MIFC) refers to as “holistic end-to-end Shariah-compliance.”

“With Malaysia being the only country with a complete and comprehensive ecosystem that has the capacity and know-how to support further developments within the Halal industry, the strategies undertaken by HDC are expected to exponentially increase the number of local MSMEs as halal exporters through its Trusted Halal Business platforms that encourage public-private cooperation, including the World Halal Business Conference and the Halal Integrated Platform,” he added,

Similar to the previous World Halal Conference, the inaugural WHBC 2021 continue to attract many renowned industry captains and international speakers and panelists, including Dr Justin Lee, Australian High Commissioner; David Evan Malcomson, High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa; and Abdoulaye Barro, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of Senegal; and Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition of the Republic of South Africa.

Also sharing the stage today were Dato’ Dr Noor Zari Hamat, Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia; Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour, Deputy Governor, The Central Bank of Malaysia; and Dato’ Charon Wardini Mokhzani, Group Managing Director, Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad.

WHBC 2021 has now become a staple of the global halal calendar. 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.

Organised by HDC, WHBC 2021 is supported by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and Securities Commission Malaysia (SC).

The event and content partners included Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad, UOB Malaysia, Standard Chartered Saadiq Berhad, Capital Markets Malaysia, Malaysian Takaful Association, Duopharma Biotech Berhad, Fraser & Neave Holdings Berhad and CIMB Islamic, with Malaysia Airlines acting as Official Airline partner while Malaysia Kini/Kinihalal and Revon Media are the event’s designated Media partner.

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