The International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) opened its doors on 3 April 2013 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur and will continue until 6 April 2013. MIHAS, the largest halal trade fair is part of the World Halal Week event that welcomes participants and guests consisting of business leaders, scholars, government agencies and organisations from all over the world poised to grab all the opportunities that this event offers.

MIHAS is an integral part of the halal eco-system, offering an excellent platform for manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of halal products and services from all over the world to gather, meet, network and trade with halal industry stakeholders. Every year, MIHAS attracts international delegations from the world over not only as exhibitors, but as trade visitors eager to network with halal industry businesses, and this year is no different.

According to Dato’ Zakaria Kamarudin, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of MATRADE, the biggest delegation MIHAS received this year is from Thailand headed by His Excellency Mr. Krit Kraichitti from the Ministry of The Republic of Thailand with 26 people in his delegation. Thailand has always been a strong halal producer in Asia and they are set to increase the country’s halal food production and marketing standards to boost exports. The cooperation amongst Malaysian and Thai companies would help fast track the increase in halal products movement between the two countries and beyond.

This year marks the first time that MIHAS received a big delegation from Nigeria, headed by His Excellency Abdulrauf Adesoji Aregbesola from UCSI Blue Ocean Strategy Consulting Group with 24 other people. Nigeria, with its well-developed infrastructure, size and strong Muslim population with considerable purchasing power, possesses a strong halal market in Africa and has the potential for major expansion, and pose a significant impact on the global Halal market.

From Indonesia, the delegation was headed by Ms. Euis Saedah from the Ministry of The Republic ofIndonesia. Indonesia’s positive economic growth in recent years has contributed to increased awareness in halal and consequently, the rising demand for halal products in the country. The growth is mostly attributed to the rising middle-income group combined with the significant increase of technology.

MIHAS 2013 was also graced by a delegation from the Philippines, headed by Mr. Atty. Abdul Rahman R. T. Linzag from the Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines. Muslims in Philippines comprise the biggest non-Christian population in the country with approximately 5 million people, which roughly translates to 5 percent of the country’s population. In addition to that, the Southern Philippines sit in close proximity to the large Muslim populations of Southeast Asia giving Philippines the extra edge.

Hosted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), World Halal Week is organised with the collaboration of three organisations; International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), and the World Halal Week (WHW) Conference by Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) in collaboration with IHI Alliance. This government and private sector collaboration aims to strengthen international trade links and create innovations within the industry to further expand the halal industry and reach  global consumers.