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Monday, March 31, 2008

Mission to boost halal industry

MALAYSIA External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) will take part in several world-class exhibitions to further globalise Malaysian halal industry, particularly among 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide.

Specialised missions overseas are also being organised to promote the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas) further, Matrade products and services director Wan Norma Wan Daud said.

The global market value for food products is estimated at US$1.3 trillion (RM4.2 billion) per year, with the halal sector worth some US$150 billion (RM480 billion).

Malaysia's halal exports to member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference in 2006 totalled RM2.66 billion.

This accounted for 23 per cent of the country's exports in processed foods, beverages, essential oils, cosmetics, perfumery and toiletries and pharmaceuticals.

Wan Norma said Matrade wants to increase awareness that halal products are beyond meat and beverages, besides making Malaysia's domestic sector more visible internationally.

She said last year, the trade body brought along many Malaysian companies to participate in trade fairs in Iran, Turkey, South Africa and China.

"This year, we are planning to participate in 16 trade fairs on food alone, including in the UK and France.

"We have started our programme with the Gulf Food fair in Dubai in early March, bringing along 40 local firms there," Wan Norma said in a recent interview in Kuala Lumpur.

By New Straits Times (by Zuraimi Abdullah)

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