He said the country remained the leader in the halal industry worldwide as it went beyond food and beverage to other sectors including Islamic finance, pharmaceutical, logistics and halal tourism. He said Malaysia had been assisting other countries and worked with their halal bodies in terms of getting halal certification. “Currently, we are working with Indonesia on standardising the halal certification,” he said.
Asked on halal investment, he said due to the economic uncertainty, the country witnessed a moderate investment coming into the industry. However, Datuk Mustapa affirmed that Malaysia’s expectation of reaching RM15 billion in halal investments by 2020 was “doable” compared to RM11 billion currently.
On challenges within the halal industry, Mustapa said one would be to get more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to export their products and services. “But now with the e-commerce platform, we are able to put more SMEs on the digital platform,” he said.
The global halal market is currently valued at US$2.3 trillion (US$1=RM4.42) annually with the halal food sector worth US$660 billion being the core component. Malaysia’s exports of halal products in 2016 amounted to RM39.3 billion. The main export items last year were food and beverage, followed by halal ingredients and palm oil derivatives.
Among Malaysia’s top export markets include China, Singapore, the United States and Japan. Malaysia’s halal exports are also projected to contribute 8.7 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product by 2020.