25/02/2024 02:23 PM

By Abdul Hamid A Rahman

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 (Bernama) -- The Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) is poised for international expansion, acknowledging the importance and urgency of extending its influence beyond domestic borders.

This inaugural effort called MIHAS @Dubai will kick off with the event being held within the Middle East Organic and Natural Product Expo in Dubai from Nov 18-20, 2024, aiming to achieve sales totalling RM1 billion.

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz said this strategic initiative acknowledges the potential for growth and emphasises the importance of establishing MIHAS as a globally renowned event.

“The internationalisation of MIHAS is an initiative to take the brand to greater heights as well as to attract a diverse array of participants and buyers particularly from the West Asian, South Asian and African markets to the flagship event in MITEC, Kuala Lumpur.

“With an ambitious target of RM1 billion in sales during the event, we demonstrate our commitment to significant revenue generation and market penetration. By establishing MIHAS as a globally recognised event, we seek to position Malaysia as a leading player in the international halal industry,” he told Bernama during an interview at Menara MATRADE recently.

By choosing Dubai, MATRADE aims to capitalise on its strategic location, vibrant business landscape and growing interest in halal products to maximise the impact and success of MIHAS internationally.

The CEO is confident that MATRADE will achieve the RM1 billion sales target.

“We intend to showcase a diverse range of Malaysian halal products and services with 150 to 200 participants from small, medium and large-scale companies that are export-ready at MIHAS @Dubai.

“Among sectors that would be promoted are food processing, pharmaceuticals, beauty and cosmetics as well as health products. We are considering other sectors including services,” he said.

The Middle East Organic and Natural Products Expo is the largest trade exhibition in the Middle East for organic and natural products and will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

On Malaysia’s trade performance, Mohd Mustafa said it is expected to recover in 2024 in tandem with the outlook by the World Trade Organization (WTO) which anticipated global trade to grow by 3.3 per cent.

“To reflect this, Malaysia’s trade in January 2024 rebounded with a double-digit expansion of 13.3 per cent to RM234.73 billion after experiencing 10 consecutive months of year-on-year (y-o-y) contraction.

“On top of that, utilisation of free trade agreements particularly the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will be crucial in facilitating Malaysian products’ access into wider markets as it will boost export growth as emphasised in the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 which also focuses on high value and high impact sectors,” he said.

Nevertheless, Mohd Mustafa said global trade may still be impacted by factors such as global uncertainties arising from prolonged geopolitical tensions, exporters’ ability and readiness in meeting environmental, social and governance (ESG) market demands, disruption in global supply chains and uncertainties in commodity prices.

“The year 2024 may witness significant political changes, with major elections scheduled to take place in our key trading partners notably the United States, South Korea and India which could have a significant impact on trade and international relations,” he said.

Meanwhile, MATRADE has also seen a handful of achievements in 2023 and among them is the 19th edition of MIHAS which was the largest ever organised resulting in total sales amounting to RM3.2 billion.

“Other key achievements are rebranding initiative, the Sustainability Action Values for Exporters (S.A.V.E) programme, Export Day, Mid-Tier Companies CEO Summit Exporters Development and the naming rights for the MATRADE Loftus Road Stadium,” Mohd Mustafa added.




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