14/06/2024 08:07 PM

JOHOR BAHRU, June 4 (Bernama) -- Local halal entrepreneurs are encouraged to explore new halal markets in addition to the food and beverage (F&B) sector, particularly in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, to meet growing international demand.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this was because currently, 87 per cent of local halal products, including those exported abroad, are within the F&B sector.

“During my visits to several countries, I observed a high demand for halal pharmaceutical and cosmetic markets. I hope we can not only provide raw materials or ingredients but also produce final products under Malaysian brands.

“We will approach this gradually with a target of 50 per cent F&B products and 50 per cent non-F&B products within the next 10 years,” he said told a press conference after officiating the Halal on Track@Johor programme at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre here today.

However, he said the effort requires meticulous planning in collaboration with various agencies, including the Halal Development Corporation Berhad (HDC), the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) and the state religious authorities.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, urged MADANI communities to take advantage of opportunities in the halal market, which is expected to be worth USD5 trillion in 2030.

“The allocation of between RM50,000 to RM100,000 announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to each MADANI community can be used to produce their respective halal products to improve the economy of villagers,” he said.

He also said that MARA provides an allocation of RM5 million to guide local entrepreneurs to apply for JAKIM's halal certificate through the i-Bimbing initiative.

“This initiative aims to gather halal certificate applicants in small groups to be guided by consultants appointed by JAKIM itself regarding the conditions that must be complied with.

“It is hoped that with this initiative, the issuance of certificates can be expedited to applicants within 23 days. But I am also confident that the halal certificate can be issued within 15 days with JAKIM's guidance. This is a challenge but I am confident they can do it,” he said.

According to him, JAKIM has received a total of 8,375 applications between October and December 2023, an increase of 15 per cent compared to 7,230 applications between January and September of the same year.

Therefore, Ahmad Zahid hopes that JAKIM will be more proactive in issues concerning the Malaysian Halal Certification issue in line with the agency's 50th anniversary celebration this year.

The ‘Halal on Track’ programme organised by JAKIM together with the state religious departments is a platform for the industry to obtain guidance, understanding and detailed explanations regarding the application procedures for the Malaysian Halal Certification Certificate (SPHM).







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