MIRI: Entrepreneurs are urged to further tap the potential of halal industry in view of the increasing demand for halal food in the world market.
Furthermore, the government sees the halal food sector as a very important and relevant industry in Sarawak and has come up with incentives to assist those interested in taking up the business, said Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Rosey Yunus.
“Sarawak Economic Development Corporation’s (SEDC) proactive efforts in organising the ‘Clean, Safe and Healthy (BeSS) Food Safety is the Industry’s Responsibility (MeSTI)’ programme are very important as initial step to increase the involvement of entrepreneurs in Sarawak,” she said in her address to officiate at the BeSS MeSTI Halal Programme at Miri Islamic Complex yesterday.
Rosey (third right) admires the handicraft products while visiting the exhibition booths with Zamirudin (right) and others.
Rosey, who is also Bekenu assemblywoman, hoped agencies related to the recognition of BeSS, MeSTI and halal certifications such as Islamic Religious Department (Jais) and Ministry of Health (MOH) will always work closely with entrepreneurship agencies like SEDC to develop the halal industry in Sarawak.
She said the auditing process to obtain the halal certification is very strict in Malaysia.
Therefore, she added, countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia are very confident of and recognise the Malaysian halal certification process.
She pointed out it would be easier for entrepreneurs to get the halal certification once they have obtained the BeSS or MeSTI certification from MOH.
She said that consumers are also increasingly sensitive to the quality of products and services that have halal standards.
Non-Muslim consumers’ acceptance of halal products and services, she added, has also increased, and some studies have found that non-Muslim consumers have a more positive perception of halal products, especially in terms of hygiene and safety.
“The world today has indeed recognised the halal industry and its potential for the development and economic development of a country. The opportunities of the halal industry are not only for Muslims but also for non-Muslims.”
With the current world population estimated at over 7.7 billion and the Muslim population estimated at 1.9 billion, she pointed out that the potential of the halal industry and entrepreneurial opportunities in this field is indeed vast.
She also said majority of locally produced products and services have successfully penetrated the world market and are accepted by non-Muslim countries such as Brazil, Australia, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, and China, especially those who have obtained MeSTI certification and halal certification.
In 2019, she said, halal products worth RM40.2 billion constituted 4.1 per cent of Malaysia’s total exports.
She also said countries in the Asean region are still in the process of discussion to standardise the existing halal certification.
This standardisation, she added, could elevate the industry to a premier level, thus pushing Asean countries to be players in the international halal industry on par with countries leading in certain halal products such as halal beef from Australia and halal mutton from New Zealand.
Meanwhile, a total of 110 entrepreneurs took part in the two-day course at the complex.
The programme served as the best platform for the entrepreneurs to obtain information and business assistance and facilities offered by the relevant agencies.
Also present was SEDC acting director for Entrepreneur & Community Development Division Zamirudin Ahmad Mansor.
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