International buyers exploring halal industries in Malaysia
Malaysia is hosting one of the world’s largest halal products exhibitions and buyers are exploring opportunities to import products from the Southeast Asian nation.
“Malaysia has a variety of food products. And Malaysian cuisine is world-class,” said Azmi Mustafa, the owner and founder of Dreiha Handels, a food supplier in Germany.
Mustafa portrayed the 18th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) in Kuala Lumpur as a promising for Malaysia that he sees as the pioneer of the halal industry.
He noted that the halal food sector in Europe, particularly in Germany, is booming, creating opportunities for manufacturers.
“The total value of the halal market in Germany is around €4 billion ($3.9 billion) annually. So, the halal market is very big in Germany as the country has a sizable number of Muslims, particularly Turks and people from other Muslim countries. So, they want to get Halal food items in supermarkets, especially in those markets run by Muslims.”
His company has been supplying instant noodles & specialty noodles, vegetarian meals, jackfruit snacks, creamer, milk, powder, dishwasher, soap, utensils, and kitchen appliances to supermarkets across Germany.
Mustafa said that not only Muslims, but Germans are also keen to get halal products. Because halal is not only related to a religion but “halal means clean, halal means hygienic, halal means every step of the production procedure is monitored carefully. Halal means you know every single ingredient of the product you are consuming. Because halal products need to get halal certifications that are too tough and very strict.
"Halal means food safety; halal means clean and quality so anybody can consume. Halal is the future not only in the Muslim countries but in non-Muslim countries,” he said. "This sector is growing everywhere and is growing in a very fast way. Halal would be a very big industry. In the near future, food safety would be curricula matter for consumers.”
"MIHAS is one of the pioneer exhibitions for the halal sector," he said.
However, he mentioned that it is not easy for halal products to enter supermarkets run by Germans.
But to enter western markets, halal products need other European certifications for food products. The halal food production industries must be well-equipped and completely ready for the rapidly booming halal market.
Innovation and new concept
A businessman from India said he was excited to see innovations and vast opportunities for businesses with Malaysian manufacturers.
“I have seen Malaysian products. They are very world-class. A lot of new and exciting innovations are happening here,” said Prince Chatterjee, vice president for consumer brands for Reliance Retail Limited, a personal care and toiletries supplier in India.
Chatterjee told Anadolu that he was “feeling very excited to see the kind product innovation, new concepts, combination of products and packaging initiatives” in Malaysia during his meetings with producers at MIHAS r.
As a subsidiary of one of the largest conglomerates in the South Asian nation with a population of 1.3 billion, Reliance Retail Limited is seeking opportunities to get skin care, hair care, makeup color cosmetics, bath and shower products from Malaysian manufacturers.
“With the right quality of products and the right business partners, if we can establish a good business relationship, I think it could be a really good opportunity for us to look into manufacturing some of our products in Malaysia,” he said.
“Among the Far East countries, Malaysia could be one of the most interesting destinations for us,” he added, as he appreciated the halal showcase.
MIHAS began Wednesday at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre and is poised to be a networking powerhouse for international and local businesses.
Considered one of the most prominent and longest-running halal trade events in the world, MIHAS is expected to achieve $423 million in trade during the three-day event.
The expo, organized by the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), draws participants from local and international buyers, entrepreneurs, retailers, brands, media, researchers and industry influencers.
It has attracted nearly 400 companies from across the globe through conventional and virtual exhibition formats.
This year, it features 13 clusters including food, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, media and recreation, Islamic finance, modest fashion, personal care and cosmetics, Muslim-friendly tourism and Islamic arts and culture,
Qatar, Türkiye, Saudi Arabia, US and India have been premium buyers at the INSP, while Malaysia and Singapore are top sellers. Bhutan, Vietnam, and Thailand are top buyers.
The halal industry is one of the fasted-growing markets in the world as products and services in the sector gain momentum among non-Muslim consumers worldwide.
Global indicators for the Islamic economy predict that the worldwide halal market will grow from $2.09 trillion last year to almost $3.27 trillion by 2028.