Halal industry remains resilient in challenging times, says industry body
By FocusM |   |  Mainstream

KUALA LUMPUR: The halal industry continues to show resilience due to its strong fundamentals amidst the current volatility in crude oil prices and the Covid-19 crisis, says the Halal Development Corporation Bhd (HDC).

Its CEO Hairol Ariffein Sahari said HDC intends to further augment Malaysia's market share through its strategic programmes amidst these challenges.

“There is still much headroom for growth, especially within the landscape of homegrown Malaysian exporters,” he said in a statement.

There were 1,876 halal exporters in 2019 compared with 1,827 reported in 2018, a 2.7% growth.

A majority of local exports are represented by SMEs (1,430 companies), that make up slightly over 75% of the total size, with multinational companies making up the balance of exporters, he added.

“It was originally forecast that by 2020, Malaysia's annual halal exports would reach an estimated RM50 bil,” Hairol Ariffein said, adding that the industry is forecast to contribute about 7.4% to Malaysia's gross domestic product by 2020.

According to HDC's statistics, halal food and beverages continued to retain its spot as the top contributor to the domestic halal economy at RM22.05 bil in 2019, followed by halal ingredients (RM12.64 bil), cosmetics and personal care (RM2.95 bil), palm oil derivatives (RM1.26 bil), industrial chemicals (RM917.2 mil) and pharmaceuticals (RM400.9 mil).

Hairol Ariffein said HDC's sentiment analysis revealed that the economic potential of the halal industry was primarily responsible for galvanising foreign and domestic investments, especially in palm oil production.

“A significant increase in prices of Malaysian crude palm oil per tonne was one of the key factors for the halal industry's performance in 2019, as the industry experienced a market correction through an increase of over 20% compared to 2018,” he said.

Furthermore, the versatility of palm oil as a halal ingredient for food and non-food products as well as the government's commitment to the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil standards have generated significant global interest in palm oil derivatives exports, making it a suitable component for halal manufacturers.

Moving forward, he said as the secretariat of Malaysia's Halal Industry Development Council, HDC holds a critical role in the development of the halal economy and is set to create linkages between the halal ecosystems of Malaysia and other nations.

“We will connect Malaysia’s halal ecosystem to the rest of the world and expect these efforts to create opportunities for both industry players and parties within the ecosystem with a focus on commerce, investments, quality employment and technology exchange,” he added. - March 25, 2020, Bernama

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